Home Politics Oceania NZ Vape Association Urges Lawmakers to Follow the UK’s Example

NZ Vape Association Urges Lawmakers to Follow the UK’s Example

Public Health England (PHE) has recently released its latest report on vaping. As New Zealand’s Parliament prepares to set in place vaping regulations, the Vaping Trade Association of New Zealand (VTANZ) is urging local lawmakers to take a page out of the PHE's rulebook.

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The latest review published by the PHE: “Vaping in England: 2020 Evidence Update Summary” is pointing out that “false fears” about vaping are preventing many smokers from quitting by switching to vaping – something that the PHE itself has long endorsed.

“A total advertising ban is short-sighted. We need to be able to communicate the benefits of our products to adult smokers, even in a restricted way, in order to convert them to something 95% less harmful.”
Meanwhile, whilst New Zealand’s health ministry acknowledges that the consumption of e-cigs and smokeless tobacco has harm reduction benefits, the proposed vaping bill still bans all forms of advertising. In response to this, local vaping association VTANZ has pointed out that not communicating the relative health benefits of the devices is nonsensical.

“A total advertising ban is short-sighted. We need to be able to communicate the benefits of our products to adult smokers, even in a restricted way, in order to convert them to something 95% less harmful.”

Data from the UK show that sensible regulations work

“The UK’s progressive and pragmatic policy on vaping is a timely reminder to our legislators that sensible regulation can improve public health.”
To this effect, the VTANZ is urging New Zealand’s lawmakers to review the PHE report. “The UK’s progressive and pragmatic policy on vaping is a timely reminder to our legislators that sensible regulation can improve public health. In the UK smoking rates continue to decline rapidly, and our Parliament needs to reflect on just how that’s being achieved,” said VTANZ spokesperson, Jonathan Devery.

Devery added that the Government’s plan to limit the availability of flavours may lead to increased smoking rates. “The UK report highlights how much adults love flavours, how they’re key to smokers quitting tobacco, and how fruit is easily the most preferred flavour among adults. When quizzed, a worrying of number UK vapers say if flavours were banned, they’d source them illicitly while others would return to smoking. Hence, the UK Government won’t be banning flavours anytime soon!”

Restrictions vs Bans

With regards to the proposed advert ban, Devery says that the ‘Vaping in England: 2020’ report also demonstrates how advertising restrictions work effectively as opposed to a total ban. “Vaping advertising in the UK is heavily restricted, closely monitored, and clearly enforced. A similar regime could be easily implemented in New Zealand that protects young people yet allows the industry to promote vaping as a smoking cessation tool for adults.”

He says despite the wide availability of flavours in the UK and restricted advertising allowed, the report reviewed three national youth surveys and found no evidence of a so-called ‘youth vaping epidemic’. He notes University of Auckland researchers recently reached the same conclusion in New Zealand when assessing an extensive Year 10 survey.

“Public Health England has always insisted vaping is 95% is less harmful than tobacco, and its latest report encourages smokers to continue to try regulated nicotine vaping products. The UK views vaping as a friend not a foe – an approach that’s clearly working for them and one we can all learn from,” said Devery.

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