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ASH NZ Welcomes Vaping Legislation

In one of the final acts of this Government, late last night Parliament passed the long-awaited Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act. In so doing, it has ensured a significant opportunity to help 500,000 New Zealanders quit smoking through the much less harmful alternative - vaping.

The legislation recognises vaping as a valuable quit smoking tool. It also regulates vaping products and provides controls on marketing and selling them to under 18’s.

In a last-minute agreement, the Government introduced a number of amendments to the Bill, including ensuring vaping products could be more available in isolated communities and ensuring information can be widely provided to those trying to switch to vaping.

Disappointingly, the flavours that those who vape rely on, have been severely restricted and another quit smoking tool, oral nicotine, is banned.

The Director of ASH, Deborah Hart, said, “The legislation is a major step in getting New Zealand to its agreed target of smokefree 2025. ASH applauds the Government and Minister Jenny Salesa, as well as others who worked so hard on the Bill, notably National MP, Nicky Wagner.

It is now time to work on more measures that will ensure we get to the smokefree target.”

Useful Information

· Cigarettes are a uniquely dangerous delivery device for nicotine. People smoke for the nicotine, but die from the smoke.

· 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, helps smokers to quit and is much cheaper than smoking.

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

· Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in NZ causing approximately 4,300 deaths yearly.

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

· There is a much higher smoking prevalence among low-income groups, and Māori and Pacific.

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