The Cancer Society is pleased to see the vaping Bill introduced by Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa and urges for a speedy process, supported by all political parties, to introduce the regulations.
The Cancer Society is optimistic that the proposed ban of marketing and advertising of vaping products will help protect young people and non-smokers. At the same time, controls on product safety will ensure people who are using vapes to quit smoking have access to a product that is as safe as possible.
“Regulations are long overdue and it is essential we move at pace, with cross party support to address the wild west that is the current vaping market,” says Shayne Nahu, Cancer Society Advocacy and Well-being Manager (Te Arawa, Tainui, Irish).
“The gap in regulatory oversight has paved the way for vapes to be freely advertised and sold in New Zealand. As a result, much of the marketing, especially from the overseas-owned tobacco companies, has absolutely nothing to do with encouraging smokers to quit, and everything to do with making vaping appear the cool new thing to do.”
The Cancer Society has strongly advocated for a ban on advertising and promotion of vapes, and for the products to be sold in R18 restricted outlets or pharmacies where smokers could access advice and support on quitting cigarettes. It has also advocated for a ban on flavours that are attractive and unsafe for young people.
“We also need to clamp down on the availability of cigarettes. Vapes have grabbed our attention because they’re new, meanwhile we’ve become used to the idea that cigarettes can be sold absolutely anywhere. We’re all worried about young people and nicotine addiction, so let’s keep the momentum going and get cigarettes restricted to specialist retailers too.”
The proposed recommendations allow for vapes to continue to be sold by any retailer, including petrol stations, dairies and supermarkets. However, only specialist R18 stores will be able to offer a wide range of flavours. Other retailers will be restricted to menthol, mint and tobacco flavours.
The Cancer Society supports the proposal for vaping to be prohibited in legislated smokefree areas.
“This change will make vaping less visible so will help to prevent non-smokers and young people from starting.”
The Cancer Society has been tirelessly calling for urgent action and regulation on vaping to protect our rangatahi and looks forward to being an active participant in the submission process.