“The Associate Minister of Health confirmed this afternoon that the Government will soon shut the door on the most effective smoking cessation tool on the market”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Today in Parliament, Jenny Salesa said that the Government was moving quickly to regulate vaping because it didn’t want children taking up the habit.

“While this is a worthy goal, it directly contradicts her statement from 9 June that: ‘Some people worry that vaping might be a ‘gateway’ to smoking for young people, but there is no clear evidence for this.’

“This shows a Minister who is utterly confused about her portfolio and who is regulating based on anecdote rather than evidence.

“The Government’s legislation will ban flavours, advertising and discounts, putting vaping on a level playing field with cigarettes, and helping tobacco companies.

“The vaping industry says that 90 per cent of sales come from flavours. Closing down this avenue will see more people smoking for longer.

“How will New Zealand’s 500,000 smokers be encouraged to quit when flavours are not available and when they cannot learn about vaping through advertisements?

“We also learned today that ACT will be alone in supporting sensible vaping laws. Salesa and National’s Michael Woodhouse agreed that National and the Government would work together to place draconian restrictions on a product that is helping thousands of New Zealanders quit smoking.

“This is possibly the worst piece of policymaking we have seen from a Government that banned offshore oil and gas exploration without evidence or consultation, and which is currently driving thousands of guns underground with its misguided firearms laws.”