Vape industry supports open letter
Vaping Trade Association of New Zealand (VTANZ)
Tuesday, 26 November 2019
The Vaping Trade Association of New Zealand (VTANZ) has come out in support of over 60 health and community organisations, academics, and school representatives who have written an open letter calling for legislation to be urgently introduced to regulate vaping.
“We’ve been calling for regulation for over five years. It was promised over a year ago, and we’re still waiting. These delays and ongoing uncertainty are having a massive impact on New Zealand-owned businesses and the many Kiwis who work in them,” says Jonathan Devery, spokesperson for VTANZ.
He says New Zealand vape independents are also concerned that Big Tobacco is irresponsibly targeting youth. At the same time he agrees that vaping as an incredibly effective smoking cessation tool for adults is being held back.
The open letter was addressed to Health Minister Jenny Salesa, who has promised to introduce the Smoke-free Environments (Vaping) Amendment Bill into Parliament soon.
Among the measures, Ms Salesa has indicated the Government will ban the most successful flavours for adults. However, Mr Devery says 90% of adults transitioning from cigarettes to vaping rely on flavours to successfully quit tobacco.
He says there is also no evidence here or overseas that flavours lead to youth vaping. The UK, for example, does not have a youth vaping epidemic despite there being unlimited flavours for adults. VTANZ would then fight flavour restrictions while strongly supporting product safety standards.
Mr Devery says in recent years vaping has played a major role in New Zealand’s falling smoking rates and cigarette sales, but ongoing delays and uncertainly only delay the country’s smoke-free aspirations.
“We are totally against youth marketing and are all for R18 sales. However, if the Government wants to achieve that as well as deliver falling smoking rates, it actually has to introduce some sound and sensible vaping regulation sooner rather than later.
“Doing nothing is not helping one Kiwi smoker to quit tobacco, nor is it helping the growing Kiwi vape industry plan for its future – an industry which now involves hundreds and hundreds of employees and New Zealand families,” says Jonathan Devery.