The Government has thumbed its nose at National’s offer to cooperate on a regulatory regime for vaping products, National’s Health spokesperson Michael Woodhouse says.
“Several weeks ago, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges offered to work with the Government to create a regulatory regime for vaping products in light of concerns that they were increasingly being used by young people not previously addicted to tobacco.
“After weeks of silence, Associate Minister Jenny Salesa told Parliament yesterday that she welcomed National’s input, but only after any potential legislation went to Select Committee.
“This is the opposite of constructiveness. Worse than that, there’s no indication the Government will make progress on its own any time soon. Jenny Salesa reported to Cabinet on vaping regulations in November last year, but almost a year on, nothing has happened.
“Parents are becoming increasingly concerned that vapes are being marketed at children. They come in bright colours, have child-attractive flavours and are advertised liberally. We want to ensure vaping is a tool to help smokers quit, not an easily accessible habit for young teens.
“There are concerns those who wouldn’t have taken up smoking are taking up vaping and schools are struggling to stop the growing trend.
“Consumers also need assurances that these products will not be harmful to their health.
“Regulation is required quickly but the Government is dragging its heels at every turn. But National’s offer is still on the table.
“We’re willing to work constructively to ensure we’re striking the right balance around this important issue. It’s time for the Government to front up and do the right thing.”