“The Government and the National Party are teaming up on a brand new social engineering project: a Vape-Free New Zealand”, according to ACT Leader David Seymour.
“Yesterday in Parliament, Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa made the stunning admission that she wants New Zealand to be vape-free. National’s Health Spokesperson Michael Woodhouse then asked whether National could help.
“But Salesa and Woodhouse are basing their decisions on anecdote rather than evidence.
“Salesa said in Parliament yesterday that parents, schools and principals are concerned students are being targeted by vaping companies. Woodhouse told Newstalk ZB this morning that some children came to a select committee and told him their friends were vaping. This is useful information, but it isn’t robust evidence upon which the government can regulate.
“These comments also contradict Salesa’s statement earlier this year that: ‘Some people worry that vaping might be a ‘gateway’ to smoking for young people, but there is no clear evidence for this.’
“The Government’s legislation, to be introduced very soon according to Salesa, will ban flavours, advertising and discounts, putting vaping on a level playing field with cigarettes, and helping tobacco companies.
“90 per cent of vaping sales come from flavours, so closing off this avenue will mean more people smoke for longer. How will New Zealand’s 500,000 smokers be encouraged to quit when they cannot learn about vaping through advertisements?
“Of course, all of this also means that the Government can hold on to the $2 billion in tobacco tax revenue it currently receives.
“Only ACT is demanding that sensible vaping regulation be introduced. Smokers must have the incentive and the information to switch. This means flavours, advertising and other incentives must remain. Vaping, a much safer alternative to smoking, cannot be placed on a level playing field with cigarettes.
“The current approach has the potential to hook another generation on smoking. It’s as if Big Tobacco had designed the law itself.”