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Experts Condemn Govt Vaping Bill

The Government’s proposed vaping legislation awaits its second reading this week, and experts from the front line of quit smoking groups are speaking out to condemn the overly restrictive approach.

Vaping Trade Association of New Zealand (VTANZ) President, Lawrence Coe, says the industry echoes the calls of Hapai Te Hauora Tobacco Control Manager, Stephanie Erick who spoke to RNZ[1] this morning to condemn the proposed flavour ban for general retail stores which would only allow tobacco, mint and menthol flavours, while cigarettes remain widely available nationwide.

Action for Smokefree 2025 Chair, Emeritus Professor Robert Beaglehole also spoke out on TVNZ Breakfast[2] this week, saying the flavour restrictions will do nothing to help long term smokers quit smoking, and does not get the balance right in protecting young people while also encouraging adult smokers to quit. Meanwhile he says, “twelve New Zealanders’ continue to die every day from smoking”.

Mr Coe says it’s not about allowing a vast suite of vaping flavours to be available in every corner dairy, but at least providing enough choice to properly support adult smokers who want to distance themselves from traditional tobacco or menthol flavours.

“We know flavours are what works to get smokers quitting with vaping. In New Zealand, non-tobacco flavours make up more than 75 per cent of industry sales.

“This Bill stubs out New Zealand’s best chance at a Smokefree 2025 while also crushing the sustainability of hardworking small businesses trying to help smokers quit,” he says.

We urge the Government to make amendments at the Committee stage to expand the range of flavours permitted in general retail environments.

The Government should also consider other amendments to the Bill to allow smokers access to all tools in the tobacco harm reduction tool box such as legalising snus, and fewer advertising restrictions on vaping, in order to fast-track Kiwi quitting rates.

www.vtanz.org.nz

[1] https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018755857/vaping-advocates-say-legislation-will-make-quitting-harder

[2] https://www.tvnz.co.nz/shows/breakfast/episodes/s2020-e127

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