“ACT has launched a petition to Parliament in support of adult New Zealanders' freedom to vape, while calling on the Government to ban sales to minors. The Government and the National Party have said they favour restrictions on this life-saving technology. We think they are not only wrong but endangering New Zealanders’ lives.

“New Zealand is not on track to achieve its 2025 Smokefree goals, yet the Associate Health Minister is proposing to regulate e-cigarettes with the same rules as tobacco products, flying in the face of global evidence, and most shockingly her own Ministry's recommendations.

“New data shows cigarette sales have fallen sharply in the past two years, with suggestions that vaping is the main catalyst for this dramatic turn of events.

“Treating vaping like smoking sends the wrong message to smokers about better alternatives for their health and harm reduction.

“Flavoured e-liquids comprise over 90 per cent of e-liquids used by adults to quit smoking, and the majority are manufactured in New Zealand contributing approximately $500 million to our economy through local and export sales. Jenny Salesa's flavour ban, ostensibly justified by a non-existent 'youth vaping epidemic' goes against all available evidence, the Ministry of Health's own advice, and will result in the decimation of dozens of Kiwi small businesses and thousands of job losses.

“The effect of the Government’s policy is to put tobacco on a level playing field with vaping. One has to wonder if the tobacco lobby has not got to the Health Minister, it seems unlikely, but how else can such a mad policy be explained?

“ACT’s petition to Parliament is calling for evidence-based policy on the regulation of vaping. It asks that Parliament consider, instead of the Government’s draconian proposal: That the House of Representatives implement evidence-based vaping regulations that protect the right of adults to purchase flavoured e-liquids, allow adult smokers to be educated about benefits of vaping through public marketing, and allow property owners to decide if they allow vaping inside their private venues, while preventing the sale of vape e-liquids or devices to under 18s."