Vaping red tape protects tobacco revenue

Fri, 23 Nov, 2018

Regulating vaping in the same way as tobacco will kill off new innovations, meaning less incentive for people to quit cigarettes, but more revenue for the government, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

The Government has announced onerous new restrictions on vaping and smoke-free products. They include regulating the flavours and colours producers can use and the availability of products, banning vaping in smoke-free areas, and new bureaucracy for manufacturers and importers.

“Tobacco places enormous costs on the health system and the economy. We are told tobacco taxes are the best way to reduce our rates of smoking, but they’ve failed dismally. Excise on cigarettes – set to rise to $2.2 billion a year – is simply a revenue grab for politicians.

“The market has delivered a safe and innovative solution which could persuade thousands of New Zealanders to quit. Yet, the Government seems intent on stamping that out with new red tape.

“This misguided set of proposals will see more New Zealanders smoking tobacco for longer.

“But that’s what our politicians want. How else will the Government pay for all of its expensive pet projects without tobacco revenue?”