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Vaping report recommends proportionate regulation - VTANZ

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

"This report confirms the critical importance of vaping and the availability of vape products. If the Government is serious about tobacco harm reduction it will reflect carefully on this before tabling the Smoke-free Environments (Vaping) Amendment Bill," says Ben Pryor, spokesperson for VTANZ [Vaping Trade Association of New Zealand].

His comments follow ASH New Zealand and End Smoking New Zealand today releasing ‘A Surge Strategy for Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 - The role and regulation of vaping and other low-risk smokefree nicotine products.’

The report says the Government now has the opportunity to introduce world-best practice by developing a framework that delivers risk-proportionate regulation for smokefree alternative nicotine products, noting the distinction between tobacco and non-tobacco products and the absolute need for lawmakers to treat them differently.

Key features of a framework would include responsible marketing to adults, controlling advertising but not an outright ban, and recognising that flavours play an important role for adults and enabling them.

The report also makes clear that products should meet specific safety standards for devices, liquids and ingredients. VTANZ totally agrees with the implementation of a world-class product standards and safety regime to protect consumers, as well as R18 sales, and having public policy that genuinely protects youth.

"This surge strategy is all about getting the country back on track for Smoke Free 2025. Experts have again made a very clear evidence-based case for much safer alternatives like vaping to retain their appeal and availability for adult smokers wanting to quit tobacco.

"This is very timely reading for the Government. As she puts the final touches on her bill, we encourage Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa and her officials to closely review this report. Notably, it spells out all the possible unintended consequences of excessive regulation," says Mr Pryor.

VTANZ believes moves such as outlawing even responsible vape marketing, excessively capping nicotine levels, and banning successful flavours for adults will only see more Kiwi smokers stick to cigarettes.

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