CAPHRA supports NZ Government's decision to repeal elements of the Smokefree Environments Act

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) today expressed its support for the New Zealand Government's decision to repeal elements of the Smokefree Environments Act.

“The decision, part of the NZ First 2023 Coalition Agreement, is seen by CAPHRA as a balanced approach to tobacco control that focuses on harm reduction rather than outright prohibition,” said Nancy Loucas, a public health policy expert and passionate advocate for tobacco harm reduction and executive coordinator of CAPHRA.

"CAPHRA applauds the government's decision to prioritise harm reduction strategies," said Ms Loucas. "We believe that vaping and other harm reduction tools can play a significant role in helping smokers quit, and we are pleased to see the government recognising this."

The organisation also shares the government's concerns about the potential for a black market to develop if the sale of tobacco is overly restricted.

"A regulated market is always preferable to an unregulated one, where product safety cannot be guaranteed," Loucas added.

CAPHRA supports the government's plan to reform the regulation of vaping, smokeless tobacco, and oral nicotine products.

"These products can be part of a comprehensive harm reduction strategy," Loucas said. "We also support the government's decision to ban single use disposable vaping products, which are often of lower quality and can be more harmful than reusable devices."

The organisation agrees with the government's plan to increase penalties for illegal sales of tobacco and vaping products to those under 18. "These products should only be available to adults who can make informed decisions about their use," Loucas stated.

CAPHRA also supports the government's decision to tax only smoked products. "This approach recognises the harm reduction potential of smokeless products and vaping devices," Loucas said.

CAPHRA's views align with those of Eric Crampton, a well-known economist and commentator on public policy in New Zealand. "We are in agreement with Mr. Crampton's views on this issue," Loucas noted.

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