National Party leader Christopher Luxon has expressed his willingness to look at banning disposable vapes in New Zealand. Luxon’s statement follows the call made by the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ to follow Australia’s move to ban disposable vaping products.
Luxon has been receiving countless calls from parents and principals complaining about the negative impact of vaping on learning outcomes in classrooms, making it a major distraction. Vaping was introduced as a tool to help people quit smoking, but it has created a new addiction to nicotine among young people.
Luxon said that he and National’s health spokesperson Shane Reti will consider all options, including banning vapes, and go “back to the drawing board.” Health Minister Ayesha Verrall admitted that the current balance between “vapes being available as a tool to support people to quit and making sure young people don’t vape” seems off.
Although the New Zealand government has finished consulting on proposed measures aimed at reducing youth vaping, it has no plans to implement import bans, restrict flavors and colors, or limit nicotine concentration and volumes immediately. However, Verrall is considering more restrictions aimed at discouraging youth vaping.
While the New Zealand government is considering measures to reduce youth vaping, the National Party is open to the possibility of banning disposable vapes. Vaping has become a major source of distraction in classrooms, resulting in poorer learning outcomes. Let us hope that the government and opposition parties can work together to find a solution to this issue.