Vaping Bill Passed, Now Consult With Business - VTANZ
The bill to regulate vaping has been passed in Parliament tonight, but the Vaping Trade Association of New Zealand (VTANZ) says it’s disappointing so much uncertainty around the regulations remains for local businesses. The representative body says it’s essential the industry now has the opportunity to work with the Ministry of Health to provide expert input on the regulations.
VTANZ spokesperson, Jonathan Devery, says the process around such a key piece of legislation has been flawed since day one. He is now calling on Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa to provide clarity to the Kiwi vape industry on complex regulatory detail, give assurance the industry will be closely consulted, and implementation timelines will be workable.
“We’ve been calling for regulation for over five years so it’s deeply disappointed that it ended up being rushed through before the election. That follows the public submission period being shortened and oral submitters having to present to the Health Select Committee via teleconference,” he says.
Mr Devery says the industry wholeheartedly supports Parliament strictly enforcing vaping as an R18 activity and introducing product safety standards. However, parts of the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act won’t help New Zealand reduce its smoking rates.
“Limiting vape flavours to just three in general retail, such as supermarkets, service stations and convenience stores, will hinder our smokefree progress. Banning all vape advertising too will see fewer Kiwi smokers encouraged to make the switch,” he says.
With the legislation now passed, VTANZ asks the Government to turn its attention to across the Tasman and support their fellow ANZACs to lower their higher smoking rates.
“We now want our New Zealand MPs to positively encourage the Australian Federal Government to follow suit and legalise and regulate vaping.
“Our Government needs to also raise its concerns over Australia’s decision to ban the importation of all e-cigarette products containing nicotine from 1 January 2021. Such a move will not only cost Australian lives, as more stick to smoking, but it will cost New Zealand jobs.”
Jonathan Devery says vaping has been key to New Zealand achieving record-low smoking rates, and despite the latest legislation’s shortcomings, the country must stay laser focused on its smokefree ambition.