Banning liquid sweeteners would wreak havoc on smoking cessation efforts

The logic behind limiting flavors for adults, to prevent teens from getting into vaping, is illogical.

VAPO and Alt New Zealand co-owners Jonathan Devery and Ben Pryor believe that aside from a massive migration from vaping to smoking, the flavor ban would also be detrimental to New Zealand’s independent vape industry. The entrepreneurs submitted their comments on the ministry’s draft vaping regulation accordingly.

“Our analysis shows that over 95% of the more than 200 flavor concentrates in our manufacturing facility contain some form of sweetening agent. A total ban on sweeteners is essentially a total ban on flavors, with almost all vaping products immediately banned. Indeed, this draft regulation is killing the industry and local businesses will have no choice but to fall back, ”said Devery.

They added that there is no scientific basis for the blanket ban. “The vaping of products without additives such as sweeteners simply gives off unpleasant flavors. The flavor of the products will be so bitter that very few, if any, people will be able to continue vaping. If this proposed regulation remains unchanged, traditional tobacco products will be more palatable than vaping products. “

Decrease in smoking through vaping

In March, the New Zealand Treasury released the Crown’s accounts for the seven months through January 31, 2021. These showed a drop in tobacco tax revenue of nearly $ 700 million compared to the same. period last year, and this is mainly attributed to a 47.8% drop in tobacco taxes, due to a decline in demand for tobacco products.

Speaking about this positive downward trend in smoking, Nancy Loucas, co-director of Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA), said that if the Department of Health makes vaping regulations too strict, fewer smokers in the future will pass. to the safer (and cheaper) alternatives.

“This latest cut in tobacco tax collected has been much larger than expected, and vaping can take much of the credit for the drop in smoking rates in New Zealand over the past decade.”

“However, if the proposed vaping regulations come into effect, vaping will be much less appealing to smokers desperate to quit. More Kiwis continuing to smoke could help government revenue, but it will not help reduce New Zealand’s smoking death rate by 5,000 people a year, ”Loucas said.

Flavors should be more accessible to adults

She added that precisely for this reason, safer flavored alternatives should be made more available rather than restricted in accordance with the draft vaping regulations that would come into effect on August 11, 2021.

“We know vapers quit smoking with fruit and dessert flavors. Adults love flavors and need them to be available wherever cigarettes are sold. That would make good sense, wouldn’t it? “

She added that the logic behind limiting flavors for adults, to prevent teens from starting vaping, is illogical. “Children are protected as much as possible with the now heavily sanctioned R18 vaping products. Significant penalties apply if retailers violate this, and like alcohol and cigarettes, retailers will take this privilege very seriously, ”she said.

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Aron M. Newman

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