Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Petitioner Calls On Two Govt Doctors To Review Vape Flavour Ban

The Ministry of Health has submitted a written submission to the Health Select Committee, dismissing a Parliamentary petition signed by 17,357 Kiwis supporting ongoing access to vape flavours.

Petition organiser, Nancy Loucas, who is co-director of Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA), says the Ministry of Health’s submission is very disappointing given vaping is New Zealand’s most effective smoking cessation tool.

She is now calling on new Associate Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall and new Health Select Committee Dr Liz Craig – both public health experts – to follow the evidence, not the emotion.

With the Government’s vaping legislation passed last year, it’s proposed that for general retail such as supermarkets, service stations and convenience stores, vape flavours will be limited to just three - mint, menthol, and tobacco.

Only registered specialist vape stores will be able to sell a wider range of flavours. Ms Loucas says that penalises Kiwis trying to quit smoking in provincial and rural areas, all while deadly cigarettes remain available in general retail.

Commenting on the petition and AVCA’s supporting supplementary submission, the Ministry of Health says it ‘does not support any further expansion, via regulation, of the available flavours sold by generic retailers at this point in time. Our recommendation is that the provisions should come into force as intended on 11 August 2021.’

However, Ms Loucas says public health entities, including ASH and Hapai Te Hauora, strongly support flavours, choices, and options for smokers desperate to quit cigarettes.

“We know vapers quit smoking with fruit and dessert flavours, not tobacco, menthol, or mint flavours, as they are not looking for a cigarette taste but to move away from cigarettes,” Ms Loucas wrote in her supplementary submission to the select committee.

The tobacco harm reduction advocate says the Ministry’s logic for limiting flavours is flawed, and they wrongly cite overseas statistics which do not resemble New Zealand’s reality.

For example, the Ministry points to the high use of flavoured vapes by school students in the United States. However, last year after examining the data from over 27,000 Kiwi students, University of Auckland researchers confirmed there was no youth vaping epidemic in New Zealand. They found that only 0.8% of 14 and 15 year olds were regular vapers.

She says after taking so long to regulate vaping, it’s obvious the Ministry is now keen to just push on through and not break its self-imposed timeframes.

“Consumers are angry, and the independent industry is looking down the barrel of being run out of existence thanks to unnecessary restrictions, huge fees, and added costs.

“Limiting flavours will defeat the whole purpose of regulation. It will play straight into the hands of Big Tobacco and alarming will see the growth of an underground, unregulated market offloading flavours with no quality standards,” she says.

Ms Loucas says in its submission on her petition, the Ministry of Health acknowledges that ‘non-tobacco flavours facilitate smokers to quit smoking’. However, not actually enabling such facilitation is short-sighted and will make Smokefree New Zealand a harder goal to achieve.

“All is not lost because submissions remain open on the Ministry of Health’s draft vaping regulations, with limiting flavours still to be confirmed ahead of the proposed August implementation,” she says.

Concern is also increasing by smokefree advocates over the Ministry’s determination to ban sweeteners in e-liquids. They view the move as a further flavour ban by small print.

To make a submission on the draft vaping regulations, before 5.00pm on Monday, 15 March, visit https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/smokefree-environments-and-regulated-products-act-1990-proposals-regulations

“Our best chance is the new Associate Health Minister and the new Health Select Committee Chair. My petition signed by over 17,000 Kiwis may have been dismissed by the Ministry, but these two public health experts shouldn’t be in such a rush.

“Let’s not make much safer vaping less attractive to smokers on 11 August,” says Nancy Loucas.

About AVCA

AVCA was formed in 2016 by vapers across New Zealand wanting their voices heard in local and central government. All members are former smokers who promote vaping to help smokers quit - a much less harmful alternative to combustible tobacco products. AVCA does not have any affiliation or vested interest in industry - tobacco, pharmaceutical and/or the local vaping manufacturing or retail sectors.

www.avca.org.nz

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Welcoming The Major Health Reforms

Usually “reform” of government agencies is a cost cutting exercise in disguise, but this morning’s revision of the health system looks totally different. These reforms amount to the biggest shake-up of the health system since the neo-liberal reforms of the early 1990s, which have now been completely reversed. Good. The main ingredients announced by Health Minister Andrew Little this morning have included the setting up of a new and truly independent Maori Health Authority... More>>

 

Government: Major Reforms Will Make Healthcare Accessible For All NZers

Putting a greater emphasis on primary healthcare and ensuring fairer access for all New Zealanders are two of the main drivers of health sector reforms announced today by Health Minister Andrew Little. “We are going to put the emphasis squarely ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Border Exceptions Will See More Families Reunited

Hundreds more families who were separated by the border closure will be reunited under new border exceptions announced today, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said. More>>

ALSO:

National: Proposed Hate Speech Laws A Step Too Far

Reports of the Government’s proposed new hate speech laws go a step too far and risk sacrificing the freedoms New Zealanders enjoy, National’s Justice spokesperson Simon Bridges says. “The reforms are supposedly including protections to every ... More>>

ALSO:


PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>

Claire Breen: ACC’s Policy Of Not Covering Birth Injuries Is One More Sign The System Is Overdue For Reform

Claire Breen , University of Waikato Recent media coverage of women not being able to get treatment for birth injuries highlights yet another example of gender bias in healthcare in New Zealand. More>>

Police: Police Accept Findings Of IPCA Report Into Photographs Taken At Checkpoint

Police accept the findings of a report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) relating to photographs taken at a checkpoint in Northland. On November 16, 2019, Police set up a checkpoint down the road from a fight night event in Ruakaka ... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels