The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) is calling for the disbanding of the Ministry of Health’s Vaping Regulatory Authority (VRA) in light of the recent court case involving VAPO. The Ministry of Health admitted to incorrectly threatening vape retailers, resulting in a legal victory for VAPO.
“CAPHRA believes that the VRA’s incorrect interpretation of regulations and subsequent actions against vape retailers demonstrate a lack of competence and effectiveness in fulfilling its role and responsibilities,” said Nancy Loucas, a prominent New Zealand public health consumer advocate and executive coordinator of the CAPHRA.
The organization emphasizes the potential negative impacts of the Ministry of Health’s actions on public health and the vaping industry as well as the need for a more effective regulatory body.
Loucas states, “The recent court case involving VAPO highlights the VRA’s inability to effectively regulate the vaping industry. It is time for the Ministry of Health to disband the VRA and establish a more competent and effective regulatory body that can protect public health and support the growth of a responsible vaping industry and includes consumer stakeholders.”
“Hiding behind Article 5.3 of the WHO’s [World Health Organization] Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and not engaging with those affected is a blatant cop-out and seeks to cover up their own incompetence,” said Loucas.
The court case involving VAPO revealed that the Ministry of Health had incorrectly interpreted regulations, leading to the court’s declaration in favor of VAPO. This outcome raises concerns about the VRA’s ability to effectively regulate the vaping industry and protect public health.
“CAPHRA urges the Ministry of Health to take immediate action to disband the VRA and establish a more effective regulatory body that can better serve the interests of public health by being inclusive of all stakeholders, including the vaping industry and consumer stakeholders,” Loucas said.