Vape Signals Are A Call For Help From Our Tamariki
To protect our rangatahi, the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ (ARFNZ) and Life Education Trust NZ are calling for a complete stop to any more new Specialist Vape Retailers (SVRs) from setting up, and no front of store advertising or visibility of products.
There are now 1365 SVRs listed on the Health Advisory and Regulatory Platform (HARP), "How can our government sit back and let the next generation become addicted to nicotine?" says Foundation Chief Executive Letitia Harding.
"We are hearing the cry from our teachers, our students, and parents, that enough is enough. It is heartbreaking to hear from parents and grandparents that their tamariki and mokoupuna are so addicted to their vape that they must leave class to vape; that they take their vape to bed at night, and even into the shower", adds Ms Harding.
ARFNZ and Life Education Trust NZ want to see urgency placed on quit vaping programmes, with dedicated funding to support rangatahi to quit vaping.
"We know the detrimental effects of nicotine on the developing brain, which is why we created the ‘Behind the Scenes’ theatre-in-education programme for secondary school students, that exposes the health risks of vaping and the influence of social media", says John O'Connell, Chief Executive of Life Education Trust NZ.
The Foundation is also disappointed that the Government ignored calls for an outright ban on disposable vapes.
"An outright ban on disposables should have been part of the new regulations. We know that there are vaping stores selling disposable vapes with removable batteries and these are marketed as " Prefilled vape pods - Just like a disposable vape but have a removeable battery." Ms Harding adds, "Big Tobacco always finds a way to get around these sorts of subtle changes."
Ms Harding says it is difficult to understand who the Government is taking advice from, "youth vaping is a significant health problem for young New Zealanders, with around 20% of high school students now regularly vaping. We need strong measures if we want to make a meaningful difference, and we need them now."