Advocacy in Action – It is all about YOU
Spring 2019
We at AVCA are initiating community engagement efforts in high gear  (again!) to prepare for the public submission phase of the committee report, which is allegedly due to be released for public consultation end of August/early September. Recently, there have been quotes from both the Minister of Health (David Clark) and Associate Minister of Health (Jenny Salesa) that there may be restrictions implemented on that do not fit with the original light touch, risk proportionate regulation we were promised. The Ministry of Health is supportive of vaping and even released a website this past winter outlining their views. This seems to be due to influences from overseas anti vape organisations,  as well as the usual suspects here in Aotearoa New Zealand utilising statistics on the alleged “Youth Vaping Epidemic” in the United States that is being blamed on the manufacturers of the Juul pod system and that we must protect the children. This has now been picked up by the media, both print and broadcast and is being presented as fact for the New Zealand community, when it is most definitely not facts for us. As has been shown, there is no “epidemic of youth vaping in the United States” (link) and the statistics for New Zealand Youth who are vaping are at less than 2%. So what does this mean?  It means we are possibly looking down the barrel of the gun of “precautionary principle” that will severely limit the access to products that make vaping so effective for former smokers to get away from combustible tobacco. Issues that have arisen:
  • Possible Flavour Restrictions (limited to tobacco, mint, menthol only)
  • Possible Nicotine mg restrictions (freebase and salts)
  • Possible Label Restrictions (Plain packaging)
  • Possible Restriction to Registered Vape Shop/Pharmacy
  • Possible ban of Sale in Petrol Stations/Dairies
  • Possible Medicalisation of higher nic salt liquid “for cessation only” (either as a script or pharmacy only product.)
Make your voice heard
We understand people have lives (all the advocates in NZ are volunteers and not paid for our NZ advocacy work). So we are going to (hopefully) make this easy for you to participate at the level you are comfortable with: Download a letter template to email to your local MP: The letter is in MS Word format and you can download and edit to suit your needs and email it to your local MP.  (Find your MP here). Simple Survey: Complete this if you just want to provide us with your current age, gender, when you started smoking/for how long,  how much you used to smoke, date you switched to vaping.  We will use this in our communications/submission on behalf of all vapers in New Zealand during the public consultation process with the government. How do you consume your Nicotine? What type of Nicotine do you use when Vaping? Online Sales Age Verification Poll Tell the Story of your Vaping Journey: Complete this short form to let us (and the government) know how your journey to vape began, and how you vaping has impacted your (and your family) life. Use this Placard to take a Photo showing your Switch to Vape:  Print this document, complete it and take a photo to show what you used to switch off combustible tobacco.  Placard in Te Reo Sign the Petition: Read the petition and put your signature on it if you agree to its contents.  In Process