Limiting vaping flavours, a knee-jerk reaction

Published: Fri 13 Sep 2019 08:15 AM
“Banning most vaping flavours is like banning flavours in low-calorie drinks and food. It makes no sense whatsoever and won’t help anyone.”
The comments come from leading New Zealand vaping entrepreneur Ben Pryor who is alarmed the Government would follow US President Donald Trump in condemning most flavours in vaping.
“News from our Associate Health Minister that possibly only three vaping flavours will be allowed is a knee-jerk reaction to completely unrelated media stories in the US. Those issues are mostly about illegal and dangerous street substances, yet the poor old Kiwi smoker hoping to quit may be about to get hammered.”
He says fruit and dessert flavours are the most popular for adult vapers. However, if such flavours are banned, some vapers may be forced to mix in their own flavours which could be potentially dangerous.
Mr Pryor who co-owns Alt New Zealand and Vapo with Jonathan Devery fears record-low smoking rates in New Zealand will only start creeping up if most flavours are banned as part of the Government’s imminent legislation to regulate vaping.
“The big reason our smoking rates have fallen is because tens of thousands of Kiwi smokers are now vapers, and are much healthier for it. Limiting vaping flavours will only make it harder for those wanting to quit tobacco and its killer consequences. That would be a very poor ‘wellbeing’ outcome for this Government,” he says.
The Government and its health agencies are currently funding a ‘vape-to-quit-smoking’ public information campaign. However, Mr Pryor says considerable public money will be wasted if the Government then makes vaping a lot less attractive.
“A big reason New Zealanders are successfully quitting cigarettes is because vaping in its current form is a very effective smoking cessation tool. Getting rid of most flavours will simply mean more people stick with smoking and ultimately more will die.”
As the largest Kiwi-owned vaping company, the Alt New Zealand and Vapo owners support the need for sound and solid industry regulation. However, banning most vaping flavours and all advertising won’t help one Kiwi quit tobacco nor will it help New Zealand become smoke-free.
“The Government is set to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Making the most effective tool Kiwis have to quit smoking much less attractive would be utter madness,” says Mr Pryor.

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