• April 21, 2024

New Zealand Urged to Reject Australia’s Model

 New Zealand Urged to Reject Australia’s Model
Photo: REDMASON/indysystem

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) is calling on the New Zealand government to reject Australia’s approach to vaping and continue to follow the science and evidence. 

CAPHRA has submitted comments on New Zealand’s proposals for the smoked tobacco regulatory regime, which include tightening current restrictions on vaping product safety requirements and packaging and reducing nicotine levels in disposable vapes as well as restricting the location of specialist vape retailers.

“CAPHRA believes that the regulations, as they are, work perfectly well, and that further restrictions will only serve to limit access to safer nicotine products for adult smokers seeking less harmful alternatives to combustible tobacco,” says CAPHRA executive coordinator and prominent New Zealand public health consumer advocate Nancy Loucas.

“The announcement that New Zealand would not follow Australia’s lead to a full prescription model for nicotine vaping further reinforces the need for a harm reduction approach that is based on science and evidence, not scaremongering by crowing Australians.”

CAPHRA believes that the regulations, as they are, work perfectly well, and that further restrictions will only serve to limit access to safer nicotine products for adult smokers seeking less harmful alternatives to combustible tobacco.

Nancy Loucas, executive coordinator, CAPHRA

In a press note announcing its submission to New Zealand’s proposals, CAPHRA cites an article in The Critic, “The Vape Scare Down Under,” which describes the Australian government’s approach to vaping is misguided and based on fear rather than evidence. The article argues that the government’s proposed ban on flavored e-cigarettes is not supported by the evidence and will only serve to drive vapers back to smoking. The article also highlights the success of vaping in reducing smoking rates in countries like the U.K. and New Zealand.

“Unfortunately, the vaping debate has become highly political instead of being about the science or the evidence which continues to show that vaping is reducing smoking rates around the world,” says Loucas.

CAPHRA continues to urge the New Zealand government to take a risk-proportionate approach to regulations that protect public health while ensuring the availability of these products for adult smokers seeking less harmful alternatives to combustible tobacco.

“New Zealand should not follow Australia’s policy on vaping, and instead continue to follow a harm reduction approach that is based on science and evidence. Harm reduction should be the driving force behind tobacco policy, and regulations should be risk-proportionate and protect public health while ensuring the availability of these products for adult smokers seeking less harmful alternatives to combustible tobacco,” Loucas said.