But vaping advocates say the government is heading down the wrong path if it hopes to meet its 2025 smoke-free goals.
“It’s crazy that Kiwis desperate to quit smoking can walk into a gas station and buy any brand of cigarettes under the sun. However, they can’t access the most popular vape flavors,” says Jonathan Devery, co-owner of the Alt vape companies. New Zealand and VAPO.
A former smoker, Devery says the government needs to monitor the new restrictions to ensure they don’t hamper his 2025 smoke-free goals.
“After hitting record smoking rates, a return to smoking would be an absolute disaster,” Devery said.
“Tobacco tax revenues have been completely burdened by vaping, as the 2021 budget showed. Now is a very interesting time to eliminate 70% of vaping products from the same retail outlets that traditionally have been a cash cow for tobacco income. “
Tobacco tax revenue fell by nearly $ 700 million, according to Treasury documents in March. The drop was more pronounced than expected, with the government raising $ 400 million or 28.9% less than forecast in December’s Semi-Annual Economic and Fiscal Update.
Unlike cigarette retailers, specialty vape stores will need to be registered, which will allow them to sell a wide range of flavors.
With fewer dedicated vape shops in rural areas, Devery believes that many Kiwis trying to curb or quit their smoking habit will find it all the more difficult.