I was interested to read your story on e-cigarettes (News, November 16 and 17).
The Government needs to take particular heed of comments by the principals of Tauranga, Mount Maunganui, and Ōtūmoetai intermediate schools, confirming that vaping is not an issue among students at their schools.
The vape industry has long supported an R18 policy when it comes to selling vape products, getting tough on youth marketing, as well as high product standards. However, the availability of vape flavours, responsible R18 marketing, retail displays, and comparable nicotine levels must be retained if the Government wants smoking rates and tobacco sales in New Zealand to continue to fall.
As experts and local vape businesspeople have reinforced, we must retain vaping's appeal and accessibility for adults hooked on deadly tobacco, as vaping simply remains the most effective smoking cessation tool we have.
With Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa set to introduce the Smoke-free Environments (Vaping) Amendment Bill into Parliament soon, here's hoping the Government is not going to overreact and overreach. That would only lead to New Zealand's record-low smoking rates increasing again.
Director of Vapo and Alt New Zealand
Free speech yes, wrong statements no
However it is not okay to make wrong statements and then claim free speech to justify them.
The councillor who said that the Treaty of Waitangi is past its use by date was criticised because, in my view, this statement is factually wrong.
R Cullen says that we should leave history as history and all move on. The Treaty of Waitangi Act in 1975 shifted the Treaty from just history into current law. It initiated the partnership between the Crown and Māori, recognising separate identity for Māori and promising fair treatment.
It set up the Waitangi Tribunal to interpret and apply the Treaty in the present day. This is current New Zealand law so the Treaty is now clearly an active political document not just history.
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