Dear Hon Minister Salesa,

We are concerned at delays to the introduction to the House of the Smokefree Environments Amendment (Vaping) Bill. This delay is not in the best interests of children or smokers who want to stop.

The intention to legislate regulations for vaping, smokeless tobacco products and electronic cigarettes was announced by the government in November 2018. At that time, you said “we need to make it [vaping] as safe as possible and protect young people from taking it up”. Currently neither of your objectives are being met.

Delays in tabling a Bill for debate continues to leave the vaping market open for commercial exploitation, rather than setting clear parameters for how products are marketed, sold and used. This gap in legislation is being filled and exploited by fierce competition. Market forces are now defining the vaping environment in New Zealand, as opposed to this environment being defined by the need to protect health.

Of particular concern are the increased reports of non-smoking young people being highly susceptible to the unregulated marketing and sales of products. In the absence of government leadership, we have no accountability for manufacturers to protect children, and ensure their devices are used by adult smokers only.

There are a range of views on what the regulatory environment should contain. However, we all share the view that the current lack of controls is highly undesirable.

Introducing this Bill is an urgent priority. It is a topic of intense public interest, as evidenced by the media. The parliamentary and select committee processes will scrutinise the proposals and evidence to produce the best outcome.

Further delays may be indefinite, especially as 2020 is an election year. In the meantime, the lack of legislation continues to fail both young people, and smokers.

We strongly urge you and your Cabinet colleagues to urgently table the Bill for first reading.

Signed by:

Health and Community Organisations

ASH NZ – Action for Smokefree 2025, Deborah Hart, Director; Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ, Letitia Harding, Chief Executive Officer; Cancer Society of New Zealand, Mike Kernaghan Chief Executive; End Smoking NZ, Dr George Laking, Chair; Fale Pasifika, May Seager, Manager; Hāpai Te Hauora Māori Public Health, Selah Hart, Chief Executive Officer; Heart Foundation New Zealand, Dr Gerry Devlin, Medical Director; New Zealand Drug Foundation, Ross Bell, Executive Director; New Zealand College of Public Health, Dr Felicity Dumble, President; New Zealand Medical Association, Dr Kate Baddock, Chair; Northland DHB; Pasifika Futures, Debbie Sorensen CCT, CMinstD, NZRPN, Chief Executive Officer; Pasifika Medical Association Group, Debbie Sorensen CCT, CMinstD, NZRPN, Chief Executive Officer; Public Health Association of New Zealand, Dr Prudence Stone, Chief Executive Officer, Smokefree Canterbury, Jane Cartwright, Chair; Smokefree Murihiku, Bridget Forsyth; Smokefree Nurses Aotearoa/New Zealand, Grace Wong, Director; Sport Gisborne Tairāwhiti, Toni Hoskin, Active Health Manager; Stroke Foundation NZ, Mark Vivian, Chief Executive Officer; Tala Pasifika, Lealailepule Edward Cowley, Co-ordinator; Toki Rau Stop Smoking Services Northland; Waitaha Primary Health, Bill Eschenbach, Chief Executive and Dr Lorna Martin, Chair; West Coast Smoke-free services John Caygill, Co-ordinator.

Academics

University of Auckland: Emeritus Professor Robert Beaglehole, Emeritus Professor Ruth Bonita; Professor Chris Bullen, Director, National Institute for Health Innovation; Associate Professor Dr Natalie Walker, National Institute for Health Innovation Programme Leader – Tobacco and Addictions, Director, Centre for Addiction Research, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences. University of Otago Wellington: Professor Richard Edwards, Professor Janet Hoek, Jude Ball and Anaru Waa - ASPIRE 2025 research group; Professor Nick Wilson Director - BODE3 Programme. Victoria University of Wellington: Dr Terry (Theresa) Fleming, Senior Lecturer in Population Health and Chair, Adolescent Health Research Group.

Schools and School Organisations

Auckland Secondary Schools Principals’ Association, Richard Dykes, President; Auckland Primary Principals Association, Heath McNeil; Canterbury and West Coast Secondary Schools Principals’ Association; College Sport Auckland, Jim Lonergan Chief Executive Officer; Independent Schools of New Zealand, Deborah James, Executive Director; Secondary Principals’ Association of New Zealand, Deidre Shea, President.

ACG Schools, Danny O'Connor, Executive Principal; Albany Senior High School, Claire Amos, Principal; Avondale College, Brent Lewis, Principal; Birkenhead College, Craig Waller, Principal; Botany Downs Secondary College, Karen Brinsden, Principal; Dilworth School, Dan Reddiex, Headmaster; Epsom Girls Grammar School, Lorraine Pound, Principal; Glenfield College, Paul McKinley, Principal; Glendowie College, Richard Dykes, Principal; Henderson High School, Mike Purcell, Principal; Hobsonville Point Secondary School, Maurie Abraham, Principal; Kingsway School, Graeme Budler, Executive Principal; Kristin School, Mark Wilson, Executive Principal; Liston College, Chris Rooney, Principal; Massey High School, Glen Denham, Principal; Macleans College, Steven Hargreves, Principal; Manurewa High School, Peter Jones, Principal; Middle School West Auckland, Warren Cook, Principal; Mission Heights Junior College, Ian Morrison, Principal; Mount Albert Grammar School, Patrick Drumm, Headmaster; Northcote College, Vicki Barrie, Principal; Orewa College, Kate Shevland, Principal; Ormiston Primary School, Heath Mc Neil, Leader of Learning; Ormiston Senior College, Diana Patience, Principal; Papatoetoe High School, Vaughan Couillault, Principal; Pukekohe High School, Richard Barnett, Principal; Rangitoto College, Patrick Gale, Principal; Rosehill College, Sue Blakely, Principal; Rosmini College, Nixon Cooper, Headmaster; Sacred Heart, Stephen Dooley, Principal; Sancta Maria College, Louise Moore, Principal; Saint Kentigern, David Hodge, Head of Saint Kentigern; Selwyn College, Sheryll Ofner, Principal; Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, Kiri Turketo, Principal; St Peters, James Bentley, Principal; Zayed College, Regina Rasheed, Principal.

Download: Open letter to Minister Salesa