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AVCA: Kiwi MP’s Plea to Lift Snus Ban Should be Supported


Vaping products, such as e-cigarettes, are small battery-powered devices that heat a liquid to create a vapor. The act of inhaling and exhaling the vapor that is created is called “vaping”. Today, vaping products are pretty popular because they are safer than traditional cigarettes and help people quit smoking.

The final stages of the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill will be debated in the next few days after the House maintains for its final three-week session before the General Election. AVCA co-director and executive coordinator of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) Nancy Loucas, referred to a bill amendment offered by MP Wagner, which recommends lifting the local snus ban. She said that Wagner has listened to the submissions made by harm reduction experts and that his suggestion should be supported.

Loucas said “MP Nicky Wagner’s amendment to reverse the Government’s effective ban on oral tobacco-free nicotine pouches deserves supporting. Thank goodness at least one MP read and listened to key submissions and evidence on the bill to regulate vaping,” and she added, “As the amendment on pouches notes, the Ministry of Health advised the Health Select Committee that oral nicotine products are significantly less harmful than smoking. Given they’re administered orally there are no adverse health problems that have been proven through nicotine gum and sprays. Hence, banning them makes absolutely no sense.” 

Wagner has proposed two Supplementary Order Papers (SOPs) one that lifts the ban of oral tobacco-free nicotine pouches and another that allows businesses that receive at least 50% (not 70%) of their turnover from vaping products, in order to be allowed the specialist vape retailer status. 

Lucas explained “More specialist retailers mean better access to vape flavors for Kiwis keen to quit smoking. It’s crazy that general retailers will only be permitted to sell mint, menthol and tobacco flavors whilst allowing combustible tobacco to be sold freely. Allowing for more specialist vape retailers, under strict conditions, would only be a positive for Smokefree 2025.”

The Bill Is Being Rushed Because of Elections

Loucas has stated that rather than rushing the bill in the last few days leading to the local General Election, the bill’s complexities should be discussed in the coming days. She said “We’ve been calling for legislation for years, and to think it could now be rushed through under Urgency is completely unacceptable. Sadly, the only winners will be the shareholders of multinational corporations.”

Study Finds Snus As Effective As Nicotine Gum for Smoking Cessation

A study that has been funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has shown that snus is helpful for smokers to quit smoking. “The results showed no significant differences between those assigned to medicinal nicotine vs snus in the amount of product use, levels of cotinine attained, the extent to which the product substituted for smoking and rates of avoidance of cigarettes or any nicotine-containing products.”

This information points out that vaping products such as snus or e-cigarettes are effective for smoking cessation and are not as harmful as traditional cigarettes. For this reason, a ban that is brought to vaping products will not be sensible.