Attorney-General Agrees Vaping Ad Ban Too Much
Moves to ban vaping advertising not only go against freedoms of expression but will reduce the chance of adult smokers being free of deadly tobacco, says Jonathan Devery, spokesperson for the Vaping Trade Association of New Zealand (VTANZ).
His comments follow the release of a report by Attorney-General, David Parker, to Parliament that states parts of the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill banning the advertising or promotion of vaping products were ‘inconsistent with the right to freedom of expression’ under the Bill of Rights Act.
“Here’s hoping Parliament listens to the Attorney-General’s sage advice. A total advertising ban would be counterproductive. We need to be able to communicate the benefits of our products to adult smokers, even in a restricted way, in order to convert them to something 95% less harmful,” says Mr Devery.
In his report, Mr Parker says while some restrictions on advertising were likely justifiable, a blanket prohibition was not a ‘proportionate response, given the lack of evidence for (vaping) being harmful’. On the contrary, vaping is significantly safer than smoking, he stated.
Mr Devery says VTANZ has always argued for a restricted advertising regime. While young people need protecting, vaping must be allowed some privately-funded airtime to highlight to adults its effectiveness as a smoking cessation tool - at the very least!
“Restrictions, akin to alcohol advertising, can be easily achieved and enforced,” he says.
VTANZ supports the arrival of product safety standards and strict R18 enforcement, but it remains opposed to limiting vape flavours in the likes of supermarkets and service stations, as well as the Government’s proposed total advertising ban.
“The Attorney-General thinks a blanket advertising ban is over the top, as does the industry, and many public health groups and advocates. We now encourage Parliament to deliver robust legislation and advance Smokefree 2025 as was always promised,” says Jonathan Devery.
To see the Attorney-General’s report: