Auckland’s many smokefree supporters and vapers should use this latest lockdown, and wet weather, to submit on the Ministry of Health’s draft vaping regulations and support Kiwi businesses, says a leading tobacco harm reduction advocate.
“Never waste a lockdown, and that includes Auckland’s snap lockdown. Sadly, as a country we’re miles off achieving Smokefree 2025 but if we don’t get these vaping regulations right, we never will,” says Nancy Loucas, co-director of Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA).
She says as the draft regulations stand, international companies will benefit over independent New Zealand e-liquid manufacturers and brands. They have deep pockets and the sheer scale to pay the many suggested industry fees as well as meet tight compliance timeframes for the likes of the new packaging requirements.
On the Ministry’s proposed industry fee structure, AVCA wrote in its submission they “believe that ‘Made in New Zealand’ products, such as juice, should have a reduced fee schedule in order to benefit our local people.”
On packaging, AVCA said the independent vape industry may not, or will not, have the means to comply with the suggested nine-month timeframe for compliance. Instead, local businesses should be granted at least 15 months, preferably 18 months.
“This latest lockdown is a timely reminder that local vape businesses, and the thousands of Kiwi vapers who rely on their service, remain vulnerable.”
“Let’s not strangle our Kiwi vape businesses with unrealistic costs and deadlines and in turn limit access to the safer alternative for our people, whilst leaving the deadly alternative readily available in every dairy, supermarket and petrol station. That would be a terrible outcome,” says Nancy Loucas.
AVCA is offering free Facebook Live sessions to help consumers and those interested to make a submission on the proposals. The first one takes place at 7.00pm on Thursday, 18 February NZDT. Keyword: NZAVCA
To make a submission by 5.00pm on 15 March, visit https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/smokefree-environments-and-regulated-products-act-1990-proposals-regulations