Ex-smokers must tell government key to smoke-free

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Ex-smokers saved by vaping must come up with personal ideas to achieve smokefree Aotearoa and before the government takes very counterproductive action, says a leading advocate for tobacco harm reduction.

“The government is agitating around its smoke-free proposals, but it is tightening the screws on vaping – the world’s most effective smoking cessation tool. It doesn’t make any sense, so we’re asking ex-smokers to tell the government that vaping is the key to being a non-smoker, ”says Nancy Loucas, co-director of Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA).

Ms. Loucas’ comments come as the six-week consultation period for the government’s discussion paper titled “Proposals for a Smoke-Free Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan” reaches halfway. Communicated by Associate Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall, comments end on May 31.

While the Department of Health’s online consultation has a strong focus on reducing tobacco products, less accessible, less affordable, less appealing and less addictive, AVCA says there are plenty of opportunities for bidders to highlight the importance of vaping in the general comments section. .

“I understand that the government does not want to rekindle the vaping debate given that legislation has been passed and vaping regulations are being finalized. However, good public smoke-free vaping policy goes hand in hand, ”she says.

The AVCA chief fears that political contradictions could seriously hamper Smoke-Free New Zealand’s efforts.

“Vaping is the reason why smoking rates in New Zealand have fallen over the past 10 years to an all time high. Yet, surprisingly, its major contribution to the health of the country is not reflected in the ministry’s latest smoke-free restart or its vaping regulations.

“Banning the most popular adult vaping scents in supermarkets, gas stations and convenience items is not a regulation commensurate with the risk. This will only make it harder to quit, but that’s exactly what’s going to happen on August 11, ”she said.

Earlier this month, the AVCA released information showing that more than $ 1.6 million in taxpayer dollars is being spent on the recently launched Vape to QuitStrong campaign. AVCA said the pledge proves the government inherently knows vaping works.

“The Department of Health, the Health Promotion Agency, district health boards and Maori health organizations all openly recognize that vaping is a much less harmful alternative and an effective way for smokers to quit. To smoke. Yet the smoke-free discussion paper now available for viewing is largely silent on vaping.

“We call on all supporters of non-smokers, ex-smokers who have been saved by vaping and all those who want Smokefree Aotearoa to happen to remind the government of the essential role of vaping. Vaping needs support, not suppression, ”says Nancy Loucas.

AVCA encourages the Kiwis to review and submit the government discussion paper by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 31, 2021 via: https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/proposals-smokefree-aotearoa-2025-action-plan

About AVCA

AVCA was formed in 2016 by vapers from all over New Zealand who wanted their voices heard in local and central government. All members are former smokers who promote vaping to help smokers quit – a much less harmful alternative to combustible tobacco products. AVCA has no affiliation or direct interest in the industry – tobacco, pharmaceuticals and / or the local vaping manufacturing or retail sectors.

www.avca.org.nz

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