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VTANZ joins Aussie backlash on nicotine vaping ban

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Vaping Trade Association of New Zealand (VTANZ) has come out support of Australian smokefree advocates and vapers, saying the best way Kiwis can support a healthier future for their Australian cousins is to sign a petition launched by two furious Government MPs.

Australia has announced it will prohibit the importation of all e-cigarette products containing nicotine from 1 July, with fines of up to $220,000 for any breaches. Nicotine vaping products remain illegal in Australia unless smokers trying to quit tobacco get a prescription from their doctor, but that too is now looking near impossible.

VTANZ is now circulating the MPs’ petition, which achieved over 60,000 signatures in its first two days. To sign the ‘Support a Smokefree Australia’ petition, visit: https://www.vapepetition.com.au/

Rather than banning vaping outright, VTANZ spokesperson Jonathan Devery, agrees with the petitioners that the Federal Government should instead regulate it - given it’s a 95% less harmful alternative to tobacco. New Zealand is in the process of doing just that, with its Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill now in Parliament.

"There’s every possibility the Australian Government could back down from their very heavy-handed, and frankly dumb, approach. Signing this petition for a Smokefree Australia and supporting the backbench revolt can only help. MPs are waking up to the fact that if nicotine vape imports are banned, Australia’s smoking and death rates will only go up," he says.

This week Mr Devery featured on the popular television show, The Project Australia, in a story which examined the ‘Nicotine Ban Backlash’. He believes the new regulations represent the worst in public health policy in recent history.

"With Health Minister Greg Hunt leading the charge, the Federal Government appears to be prioritising tobacco excise tax above the lives of their fellow Australians - the very people the Government is sworn to protect. It’s an absolute betrayal!

"New Zealand’s smoking rate is falling and is lower than Australia’s. That’s because our Government promotes vaping as an effective smoking cessation tool. We’re now calling on the Australian Government to follow the evidence, not the emotion. Banning nicotine vape imports will only protect and strengthen the tobacco industry. No politician surely wants that on their conscience," says Jonathan Devery.

www.vtanz.org.nz

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