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Source: Taxpayers Union

11 NOVEMBER 2020FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEToday’s introduction of restrictions on vaping advertising and flavours means New Zealand is unlikely to achieve its Smokefree 2025 goal, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “For the most addicted smokers, costly tobacco tax hikes are ineffective as an incentive to quit. The tax only serves to make smokers and their families poorer.”“Vaping products, however, have provided an opportunity for nicotine-addicted New Zealanders to switch to a less harmful and less taxed option, and eventually phase out their habit entirely.”“From a health perspective, it is madness to crack down on such a positive development for our smokefree aspirations. The advertising ban will make it harder for smokers to learn about the available alternatives, and the restriction on flavours will make switching less appealing. Current vapers who rely on convenience stores for their preferred flavours may even return to their old smoking habit.”“Restricting appealing flavours to specialist retailers is naïve. Wellington lawmakers might be under the impression there’s a vape store on every street corner, but many of our poorest communities with high smoking rates won’t have local access to specialist retailers.”“Currently, around 12.5 percent of New Zealand adults smoke daily. The goal of Smokefree 2025 is to reduce this to five percent. With the Government’s new regulations, New Zealand is set to fail this goal miserably.”“This will of course be a boon for the Government, which continues to enjoy around $2 billion in annual tobacco tax revenue.”