The position the Government will take on smoke-free nicotine products, such as vaping, at a key World Health
Organisation meeting later this year, needs to be publicly known now, says the Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy
In a letter to Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa, AVCA has sought the Ministry of Health’s official position on
electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) that they will present on behalf of New Zealand. The meeting of the Ninth
Session of Parties (COP9) of WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) will take place at The Hague in
"As the Government is sending delegates to COP9, and as consumers’ rights to choose to use less harmful products to
switch from smoking remain under tremendous threat from FCTC’s continuing failure to address scientific evidence,
democratic processes and human rights, we respectfully request that you share with us the details of our nation’s
position being presented in November by our delegation," stated the letter signed by AVCA directors Nancy Loucas, Steven
Dohmen, Jan Walsh, and Leon Coertze.
"Consumers have the right to make choices that help them avoid adverse health outcomes, and smokers have the right to
access less harmful nicotine products as alternatives to smoking. We ask you to take account of this right when making
your submission to COP9," AVCA wrote.
AVCA Director, Nancy Loucas, says FCTC has repeatedly failed to pursue harm reduction as a core tobacco control policy
over the past 18 years, and New Zealand now has a unique opportunity to show leadership.
“With the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill open for public submissions, New Zealand
is well placed to champion the rights of vapers and those who use much less harmful smoke-free alternatives,” says Ms
AVCA said Public Health England's annual reviews of all available evidence have consistently concluded that e-cigarettes
are around 95% less harmful than smoking.
Established in 2016 as an advocacy group for consumers, AVCA says smoke-free nicotine products do not contain
carcinogens and toxicants found in tar which is a by-product of smoke. It has been known for decades that tar, and
carcinogens found in tobacco smoke, cause the death and disease associated with smoking, not nicotine.
In its letter to the Associate Health Minister, AVCA also called on New Zealand’s delegates to the WHO meeting at The
Hague to deplore FCTC’s policy to make the sessions closed-door, unaccountable and unreported.
“By supporting these largely secret but critical global meetings, New Zealand ends up aiding and abetting those with
vested interests internationally, rather than representing and supporting its citizens who have positively chosen to
switch from deadly smoking to safer alternatives,” says Nancy Loucas.
Public submissions on the bill close on 1 April 2020.About AVCA:
Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA) is a New Zealand-registered health education charitable trust that promotes
tobacco harm reduction, education and advocacy for consumers of reduced risk products in Aotearoa. AVCA has no vested
interests in the tobacco, pharmaceutical or alternative nicotine manufacturing or retail industry.