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Taxpayers’ Union Calls On NZ COP10 Delegates To Reject Misguided WHO Vaping Call To Action

The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on New Zealand’s delegates to the Tenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to reject the latest WHO call to action on e-cigarettes which ignores scientific evidence and will see more people suffering from smoking related illnesses.

“The call to action by the WHO is misguided and puts ideology over evidence. New Zealand’s incredible success in cutting smoking rates is off the back of smokers switching to vaping - as a reduced harm alternative, or pathway to quit.”

Taxpayers’ Union Campaigns Manager, Connor Molloy, said:

“This politicisation of health advice runs the real risk of being an own goal and discouraging smokers from switching to vaping as a safer alternative. Ironically, the WHO is playing into the hands of big tobacco. In New Zealand - along with similar countries such as the UK and Canada - there is explicit recognition by health experts of vaping as an effective smoking cessation tool that is less harmful than cigarettes.

“We share the concerns of many in relation to children accessing vaping products, however the evidence from ASH shows that in New Zealand the number of young people vaping is already on the decline. Rather than throwing the baby out with the bath water, we must therefore be cautious about heavy-handed regulation that risks reversing our current trend of declining smoking and youth vaping rates. Efforts should instead focus on stronger enforcement measures such as stings to weed out those retailers illegally selling to those under the age of 18.

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“The WHO’s tacit endorsement of banning vaping outright shows just how unserious they are about tobacco harm reduction. Even at their ‘minimum’ recommended level of regulation, proposals such as complete flavour bans and higher taxes will remove much of the incentive for smokers to switch to safer alternatives. New Zealand must not fall for WHO fear-mongering and instead continue our evidence-based, health-focused approach to tobacco harm reduction and reject this latest call to action.”

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