“After 2,518 submissions on the latest draft vaping regulations, it’s disappointing that local vape businesses and advocates have had to jump on a plane or dig deep into their pockets to view what’s proposed,” said the group’s co-director Nancy Loucas.
Those who were unable to view the documents at the Ministry of Health’s office, were advised to purchase copies of the United States Pharmacopoeia or the European Pharmacopoeia, where the proposed New Zealand standards have been referenced. The finalized vaping regulations have been taken to Cabinet earlier this month to be signed-off and phased in incrementally.
Australia lags behind
The much disputed bill has now gone into effect. Discussing the development, Australian public health expert and tobacco harm reduction advocate Dr. Colin Mendelsohn, highlighted that unlike its Australian counterpart, the NZ government at least understands the potential of vaping as a safer alternative to smoking. In fact, he added, Kiwi vape retailers are allowed to display the following messages.
- “Completely replacing your cigarette with a vape will reduce harm to your health”, and
- “If you smoke, switching completely to vaping is a much less harmful option”
He points out that it is about time Australia follows suit. “The NZ regulations put Australia to shame. They are based on the evidence rather than politics and ideology. They are a model for good public health policy on vaping and will save lives.”
“Australia’s requirement for nicotine prescriptions is complex, expensive and unnecessary and makes it harder to access vaping products than cigarettes. Is that really what Greg Hunt wants?” concluded Mendelsohn.