Otago Daily Times

Smoke­free leader praises vape laws

- EMMA PERRY University of Otago · Linda Miller

NEW laws con­cern­ing va­p­ing now in force are be­ing wel­comed by Univer­sity of Otago aca­demics.

Yes­ter­day, it be­came il­le­gal to sell vapes to un­der­18s and ad­ver­tis­ing and spon­sor­ship of va­p­ing prod­ucts have been banned al­to­gether.

Va­p­ing was also banned in leg­is­lated smoke­free ar­eas, and cer­tain flavours will be phased out, ex­cept at spe­cial­ist re­tail­ers, over the next 15 months.

Univer­sity of Otago pro­fes­sor Janet Hoek, co­chair­woman of the As­pire 2025 re­search cen­tre work­ing to iden­tify and eval­u­ate mea­sures to achieve the Gov­ern­ment’s Smoke­free 2025 goal, said the leg­is­la­tion would en­sure peo­ple who smoked but wished to switch to a less harm­ful op­tion could ac­cess prod­ucts.

Ex­tend­ing smoke­free ar­eas, such as schools, work­places and public trans­port, to in­clude va­p­ing would pro­vide much needed clar­ity and pro­tect non­users, Prof Hoek said.

‘‘Re­duc­ing young peo­ple’s ex­po­sure to va­p­ing is im­por­tant in shift­ing per­cep­tions of va­p­ing as an ac­cepted recre­ational prac­tice and re­fram­ing it as a tool that could help peo­ple who smoke to switch to a less harm­ful op­tion.’’

Re­strict­ing the full range of flavoured va­p­ing prod­ucts to spe­cial­ist R18 stores struck a good bal­ance, she said.

‘‘The act en­ables peo­ple who smoke to ac­cess var­ied flavours from spe­cial­ist stores while min­imis­ing chil­dren’s ac­cess to flavours known to be pop­u­lar among young peo­ple.’’

She said mea­sures no longer al­low­ing ad­ver­tis­ing and spon­sor­ship were par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant com­po­nents of the new leg­is­la­tion.

Otago Sec­ondary Prin­ci­pals’ As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Linda Miller said the changes were very good news.

‘‘It will give schools more teeth when it comes to pupils va­p­ing . . . it sig­nals clearly the harms caused by va­p­ing.’’

Vapourium busi­ness de­vel­op­ment man­ager Cody Pe­neamene said it was pleased to see leg­is­la­tion come in.

‘‘We’ve been wait­ing six or seven years for some­thing like this . . . It com­pletely fits with our harm re­duc­tion ef­forts.’’

Nicky’s To­bacco Shop owner Graham Mur­phie said it was en­cour­ag­ing the law ac­knowl­edged va­p­ing was less harm­ful than smok­ing, and helped some smok­ers to quit.

Re­strict­ing flavours to R18 and in spe­cial­ist stores con­tra­dicted this, Mr Mur­phie said.

‘‘It’s a good solid piece of leg­is­la­tion by foun­da­tion, it does how­ever need some tweak­ing to en­able adult smok­ers to pur­chase flavours in tra­di­tional ways that will keep them off to­bacco.’’ — Ad­di­tional re­port­ing RNZ

 ?? PHOTO: GRE­GOR RICHARD­SON ?? Vapourium busi­ness de­vel­op­ment man­ager Cody Pe­neamene, of Dunedin, wel­comes new leg­is­la­tion con­cern­ing va­p­ing.
PHOTO: GRE­GOR RICHARD­SON Vapourium busi­ness de­vel­op­ment man­ager Cody Pe­neamene, of Dunedin, wel­comes new leg­is­la­tion con­cern­ing va­p­ing.

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