CALL TO ACTION – ALL NZ VAPERS NEED TO ACT NOW - HAVE YOUR SAY!

The New Zealand Parliament is requesting comments on the proposed Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill.

This is the bill that will impose new regulations on the vaping industry, and it affects YOU directly.

If you want to share your opinion on the proposed bill with Parliament, now is the time to begin preparing your comment. Comments must be submitted by 1 April 2020.

It is virtually guaranteed that this vaping bill will be passed, but it contains a lot of errors and missing information.

The bill will completely change how vaping products are bought and sold in New Zealand. If you disagree with any aspect of the bill, it is vital that you make your voice heard now.

Below is information on the main points of the bill. Please read and follow the links to submit your comments OR, if you aren’t sure how to submit your comments online, just fill in the template below and send it to one of the addresses at the bottom of this information. 


Should vape products (including non-nicotine) be restricted to 18 and over?

In line with the current SmokeFree Environments Act, we believe vaping should be restricted to people who are over 18 years of age. This is to ensure that any potential user is old enough to make their own decisions and to ensure that by the time they can purchase these products (whether they have nicotine or not), they are fully developed.


Should all advertising and/or sponsoring by vape companies be stopped?

Vaping has been proven time and time again to be at least 95% less harmful than smoking. The remaining 5% risk is on par with the risks that are associated with coffee or widely used pain killers (and far less than things like alcohol).

Because the risks associated with vaping are so low, we do not believe a blanket restriction on marketing and promotion is warranted. Adults should have the right to learn about a product that offers such substantial health and financial benefits. However, we do believe that marketing should be restricted to adult times (i.e. after 8:30pm and while children are at school) and that sponsorship should be ‘brand only’, so that smokers and vapers know where to find more information.


Should vaping be restricted in Smokefree areas (i.e. bars, parks & schools)?

As ‘second-hand vaping’ is not harmful, we believe that this should be a balanced agreement. Vapers should not be allowed to vape in schools (just like smoking) and there should still be smoke/vape free areas in public, but it is important for vapers to have a place to vape away from smoking areas. Many people use vaping to quit smoking. Forcing them back into areas with second-hand smoke greatly reduces the benefits that vaping offers.

All playgrounds should remain smoke/vape free, but bars should be allowed to allocate some areas that are vape-friendly yet smoke-free and open spaces should remain free for vapers. This is to ensure that ex-smokers aren’t forced to be around smokers, avoiding second-hand smoke but also preventing the normalisation of vaping for youth.


Do you think packaging should be standardised (including non-nicotine)?

All e-liquid products should note the nicotine content (if any), volume, flavour, ingredients, R18, storage instructions, brand, batch number, use-by date and country of production. These are the only standardisations that we believe packaging should be required to carry. There is no evidence that nicotine is harmful to adults when used correctly and therefore does not warrant large warning labels.

All bottles should be anti-leak (will not spill if dropped) and made of plastic, so the product can be squeezed through a small nozzle. This will help minimise spills, smashing, dripping and accidental or intentional oral ingestion. Plastic bottles are also recyclable.


Should there be maximum strengths in vape liquids (instore and online)?

As we have seen in the UK, restricting the strength of e-liquids creates ‘work arounds’ and black market contact. There are many users who ‘DIY’ and—let’s be honest—if they want to continue to purchase these products, they will find a way. Almost all of the vaping industry uses 50mg/ml or less in their devices, so capping the nicotine content of each bottle at 50mg/ml should be a very good option to allow for DIY users to create their own products and still have an effective and safe option for people who like to use a pre-made product.


Should flavours be restricted to 3 tobacco flavours in convenience stores?

Recent, local studies have shown that flavours play a huge role in helping people stop smoking AND keep them from going back. There is no evidence globally that suggests that vaping with flavours attracts youth more than adults, or leads to youth smoking cigarettes. This being said, if any flavour is going to train youngsters on the flavour of smoked tobacco it is the tobacco flavours.

NZ is a mostly rural country and there are many areas where a vape shop cannot survive (because of low/spread population). These areas are often low to middle income earners who make up the majority of smokers.

Additionally, an adult smoker who has quit smoking and moved to vaping should not be forced to choose from tobacco flavours only. This is like asking an alcoholic to drink only vodka flavoured water.

These are the main reasons retail and convenience stores should be able to sell a range of vaping flavours. 


Should all power for future rule changes be left to the Director General?

This is the biggest concern. The SmokeFree Environments Act was based on harm minimisation, whereas this Amendment Bill is intended to de-normalise smoking AND vaping alike. The bill has been rushed through parliament before the details could be discussed. Industry stakeholders (like store owners and manufacturers) have literally been blocked by Ministers. 

Leaving 100% of the power to the General Director of Health to make future changes means that he/she can, at any time, introduce:

·         Fees / levies / taxes

·         Extra notification processes (meaning there will be a management program needed)

·         Quotas on things like how many vape stores there can be around the country,

·         Restrictions on what stores can sell, where they can be, how they look

·         Flavour & strength restrictions (without any scientific reason)

All these things create extra costs to businesses, which end up being paid for by the user, and this is the first step in putting a squeeze on the industry, making it harder and more expensive.

A strained and expensive industry means less companies selling these life changing products, resulting in higher costs, less product availability, and ultimately less vapers.

This policy allows ONE PERSON to put pressure on the vaping industry, at their discretion. Considering the new intention of the bill, that is a dangerous prospect and not exactly democratic.


READY TO SUBMIT?

 

To make a submission online (RECOMMENDED)

https://www.parliament.nz/en/ECommitteeSubmission/52SCHE_SCF_BILL_94933/CreateSubmission

  

Fill out an easy-to-follow form (If you are stuck on where to start)

http://tiny.cc/SFEAVAB

To send your submission (2 copies are required)

Committee Secretariat
Smokefree Environments Act Vaping Amendment Bill
Health Committee
Parliament Buildings
Wellington


OTHER HELPFUL LINKS

 

SmokeFree Environments Act Vaping Amendment Bill http://legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2020/0222/latest/LMS313857.html


Why you need to submit:

https://www.vapemag.co.nz/time-is-running-out-why-you-need-to-comment-on-proposed-nz-vaping-regulations-now

  

Key changes to the laws (fact sheet):

https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/pages/hp7325-vaping-fact-sheet-21feb2020.pdf

 

 How to make a submission:

https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/sc/how-to-make-a-submission/