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ASH welcomes stronger restrictions announced to prevent young people taking up vaping

The Government has announced plans to ban disposable vapes, substantially increase fines for underage sales and improve enforcement of the retail environment.

ASH Director Ben Youdan said “vaping devices have helped tens of thousands of New Zealanders quit smoking, and we have seen record declines in adult smoking rates as a result. However, we still haven’t got the balance right between helping adults who smoke to switch to much less harmful products, and preventing vaping uptake in young people. We hope these measures will help to shift this balance”.

ASH runs the largest annual survey of youth vaping and smoking. Surveying over 29,000 year ten students annually.

“It has been encouraging that regular vaping in young people dropped from 20.2% in 2021 to16.4% in 2023. However, the survey also found that almost 70% of daily vapers used disposables, compared to only 9% in 2021. Disposable vapes cost pocket money prices, are easy to conceal and set a very low barrier for young people”.

ASH published an updated position statement of youth vaping in early 2023. This called for much stronger restrictions on disposables, tighter restrictions on vape retail to reinforce them as adult only products, and greater enforcement and penalties for youth sales.

“We are pleased to see more explicit action on youth prevention; several of these measures have been called for by ASH since we published our most recent youth vaping position statement”.

“Whilst this ban may adversely impact those adults who use disposables to stay smokefree, there are still many other options available through specialist vapes stores that can help adults who smoke, or are former smokers to stay smokefree with much less harmful nicotine products that remain much less expensive than smoking”.

 

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