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NZ Govt Plan a pain.

NZ Govt Plan a pain.

The Government’s discussion document on ‘Proposals For A Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan’ reveals little to no actual information or intention to elevate vaping as a much safer and cheaper alternative to smoking, according to AVCA consumer group.

Commenting on the plan, co-director Nancy Loucas said: “It acknowledges vaping, but it fails to support it as a key factor to achieving a smokefree nation. There’s a lot of talk about tougher rules and regulations for tobacco, but to achieve smokefree, smokers also need to be presented with a viable, less harmful alternative - and that’s vaping.”

“Vape businesses are already facing enormous costs with many new regulations now being finalised by the Ministry of Health. To now add more compliance costs will only make vaping products more expensive and less accessible to former smokers desperate to keep off the cancer sticks.”

She says the discussion document also categorically fails to distinguish between vaping and smoking. In addition, it suggests that all vaping retailers, not just specialist vape stores, should be a part of a licensing regime along with tobacco stockists.

While AVCA supports reducing the number of tobacco retailers, the group does not support the proposal to ‘reduce nicotine in smoked tobacco products to very low levels’.

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