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Vaping advertising ban will see less Kiwis quit cigarettes - Jonathan Devery

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The largest Kiwi-owned vape company says its pleased regulations around vaping are finally starting to take effect. The advertising ban on vaping, however, will not help New Zealand reach its ambitious Smokefree 2025 goal.

"Vaping is the most effective smoking cessation tool the world has ever had. Yet its advertising is now banned in New Zealand, which will simply and sadly lead to fewer Kiwis giving up cigarettes," says Jonathan Devery, co-owner of Alt New Zealand and VAPO.

The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act 2020 was passed by Parliament in August.

Effective from 11 November includes a broad prohibition on workplace vaping and vaping advertising. However public health messages, approved by the Director-General of Health, such as in smoking cessation campaigns, will be permitted.

Mr Devery says it’s disappointing New Zealand taxpayers alone will have to fund any vaping campaigns from now on.

"The vape industry would’ve happily adhered to heavily regulated advertising and message restrictions - like the alcohol industry does. Restricted advertising works well in the UK, but unfortunately New Zealand vape businesses have now lost all opportunity to reach out to smokers. Instead, it will be the taxpayer alone funding smoking cessation by vaping," he says.

Mr Devery and his business partner Ben Pryor believe the outright advertising ban for private companies will make it impossible for Kiwi brands to differentiate themselves from international tobacco giants now selling vape products in New Zealand. It will also be harder for Kiwi vapers keen to support local businesses and jobs in this Covid-19 environment.

"We are pleased for the certainty around the regulations to be rolled out over the next 15 months which strictly enforce vaping as an R18 activity and will ensure product safety standards.

"However, we ask the new Health Minister Andrew Little and Associate Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall to ensure Big Tobacco companies comply with the spirit of the Act, and that Kiwi vape companies aren’t disadvantaged as a consequence," says Jonathan Devery.

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