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ASH Welcomes Vaping Legislation

ASH NZ congratulates Minister Salesa on the introduction of legislation to regulate vaping. ASH NZ Chair, Prof Robert Beaglehole said, “It is wonderful that a Bill will be introduced next week and we congratulate Minister Salesa on balancing the need to use vaping as a quit tool for smokers and safeguarding children.”

ASH’s director, Deborah Hart said, “We are delighted that this Bill acknowledges the role vaping has in dramatically reducing the harms of smoking. Importantly, it also discourages children and youth from vaping. It is now important that all interested people take part in the Health Select Committee process. We encourage all political parties to ensure legislation is passed into law by mid-year.”

The Bill recognises the importance of flavours for those trying to quit ensuring they are available in specialist R18 stores, whilst putting controls into place to prevent the sale of vapes and marketing of vaping to children and youth. It provides for regulation, giving the government the flexibility to ensure that vaping can be maximised as a quit smoking tool and discourages children from starting to vape.

“The Bill is an important step to get New Zealand to a Smokefree 2025. Along with other measures, such as the forthcoming national smokefree plan and a mass media campaign, we could see New Zealand Smokefree by 2025.”

“It is the smoke that kills, and without smoke, vaping remains far less harmful than smoking. Encouraging smokers to switch will have substantial health gains. Of course, we do not want non-smokers, especially young people, to take up vaping, and this legislation will help prevent that.”

“The rapid rise of smoke-free nicotine products, especially vaping, is the most disruptive influence on smoking in decades. These products are challenging the smoked tobacco’s stranglehold on the nicotine market.”

Useful information

· Vapes or e-cigarettes are electronic devices that heat a liquid, turning it into vapour. They may or may not contain nicotine.

· Vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking.[1]

· 150,000 – 200,000 people vape in NZ. 47%: former smokers. 50%: dual smokers and vapers.[2]

· Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in NZ with 4,300 to 4,600 deaths yearly.

· 12.5% of New Zealanders, 490,000 people, smoke daily.

· There is higher smoking prevalence among low-income groups, and Māori and Pacific. 37% of Maori women smoke daily.

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