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Pacific Communities Will Benefit From Vaping Bill

Tala Pasifika is applauding Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa’s Vaping Amendment Bill announcement and hopes that all parties will support the bill as a positive move for Pacific peoples trying to quit smoking.

The Smoke-free Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill will be introduced to Parliament on Monday, 24 February. It will receive its first reading in March when the Bill will then be referred to the Health Select Committee.

The bill will ban the sale of vaping products to under-18-year-olds; prohibit advertising of vaping products and smokeless tobacco; restrict the sale of flavoured vaping products and e-cigarettes to R-18 specialty stores; limit general retailers, including dairies and service stations to only sell three

flavours, and introduce a product safety system – which enables the Ministry of health to recall, suspend and issue warnings about vaping products.

Tala Pasifika Pacific Advocacy Group Senior Advisor Lealeilepule Edward Cowley says that Pacific Communities will welcome the clarity that comes with the proposed regulations. “For Pacific people who smoke who are trying to quit, there’ll be less confusion, especially if we know the vaping won’t be in our children’s faces. Now it’s up to our politicians to work together, to work quickly and to work for our best interests.”

While 76% of Pacific people are smoke-free, we still have significant numbers of our Pacific people needing stop smoking support options. Says Edward Cowley, “Vaping gives our people who smoke another alternative when choosing to come off tobacco and a way to reduce overall consumption. We’ve been waiting for some strong leadership on this important issue and are rejoicing now it’s here, we really hope the parties can move ahead

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