With Parliament’s first reading of the bill to regulate vaping underway, the Vaping Trade Association of New Zealand
(VTANZ) says MPs set to scrutinise the legislation should review Public Health England’s latest report.
Released this week, the report concludes vaping in the UK is almost exclusively confined to smokers and ex-smokers, and any fears about vaping have not been realised.
“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,” says Jonathan Devery, spokesperson for VTANZ.
He says the Government’s plan to limit the availability of flavours to mint, menthol and tobacco, outside of licensed
vape stores, risks smoking rates rising again.
“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!”
Mr Devery says the ‘Vaping in England: 2020’ report also demonstrates how their advertising restrictions are working
effectively and would work here, with the proposed total advertising ban for New Zealand over the top.
“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
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,” says Jonathan Devery.