NZ’s Health Ministry Ignores Vape Flavour Petition

Diane Caruana


Countless vape advocates in New Zealand, have at all times been in favour of, and even urged native authorities to set in place, vape laws. However, they imagine that the Ministry of Health’s proposed payment construction and proposed flavour restrictions within the proposed invoice, will probably be counterproductive to public well being.

To this impact, the co-director of Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA) and Executive Coordinator for the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA), had submitted a petition signed by over 17,000 vapers and tobacco hurt discount advocates. Sadly, this was totally ignored and solely offered to Parliament 5 days after the vaping invoice disputed within the petition had already been handed.

“Over 17,000 Kiwis signed a Parliamentary petition on vaping, which was then fully ignored till 5 days after the vaping invoice was handed. It’s so disappointing and reveals what a sham the entire course of has been from starting to finish,” stated Loucas.

The resolution ought to be primarily based on science, not emotion

When native authorities reopened consultations in regards to the draft invoice, Loucas resubmitted the petition. She is now calling on new Associate Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall and new Health Select Committee Dr Liz Craig, each public well being consultants, to take a look at the proof and base their resolution on science, not emotion.

Commenting on the petition and AVCA’s supporting supplementary submission, the Ministry of Health says it “doesn’t assist any additional enlargement, through regulation, of the out there flavours bought by generic retailers at this cut-off date. Our advice is that the provisions ought to come into pressure as supposed on 11 August 2021.”

Public well being teams insist on the necessity of flavoured merchandise

In response to this, Loucas identified that public well being entities, together with ASH and Hapai Te Hauora, strongly assist the supply of flavours and quite a lot of safer various merchandise generally. “We know vapers give up smoking with fruit and dessert flavours, not tobacco, menthol, or mint flavours, as they aren’t searching for a cigarette style however to maneuver away from cigarettes,” stated Loucas.

In a press launch the AVCA defined why the Ministry’s stance is flawed: “…the Ministry’s logic for limiting flavours is flawed, they usually wrongly cite abroad statistics which don’t resemble New Zealand’s actuality.

For instance, the Ministry factors to the excessive use of flavoured vapes by faculty college students within the United States. However, final yr after analyzing the information from over 27,000 Kiwi college students, University of Auckland researchers confirmed there was no youth vaping epidemic in New Zealand. They discovered that solely 0.8% of 14 and 15 yr olds had been common vapers.

She says after taking so lengthy to control vaping, it’s apparent the Ministry is now eager to only push on by and never break its self-imposed timeframes.

‘Consumers are offended, and the unbiased trade is wanting down the barrel of being run out of existence because of pointless restrictions, large charges, and added prices.

Limiting flavours will defeat the entire function of regulation. It will play straight into the fingers of Big Tobacco and alarming will see the expansion of an underground, unregulated market offloading flavours with no high quality requirements,’ she says.

Ms Loucas says in its submission on her petition, the Ministry of Health acknowledges that ‘non-tobacco flavours facilitate people who smoke to give up smoking’. However, not really enabling such facilitation is short-sighted and can make Smokefree New Zealand a tougher objective to attain.

‘All will not be misplaced as a result of submissions stay open on the Ministry of Health’s draft vaping laws, with limiting flavours nonetheless to be confirmed forward of the proposed August implementation,’ she says.

Concern can be growing by smokefree advocates over the Ministry’s dedication to ban sweeteners in e-liquids. They view the transfer as an additional flavour ban by small print.

To make a submission on the draft vaping laws, earlier than 5.00pm on Monday, 15 March, go to  https://www.well

‘Our finest probability is the brand new Associate Health Minister and the brand new Health Select Committee Chair. My petition signed by over 17,000 Kiwis could have been dismissed by the Ministry, however these two public well being consultants shouldn’t be in such a rush.

Let’s not make a lot safer vaping much less engaging to people who smoke on 11 August,’ says Nancy Loucas.”

The AVCA Welcomes New Zealand’s New Associate Health Minister