Wellington, 15.10.2021: The World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) has called on the New Zealand government to promote its world-leading approach to vaping at a major anti-smoking conference this November.
WVA Director Michael Landl said:
‘The New Zealand Government must persuade the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other countries to back vaping and beat smoking, like New Zealand has done, at the upcoming FCTC ‘COP9’ conference.
New Zealand’s endorsement of vaping as a tool to quit smoking has seen smoking rates drop to all time lows of 10.5% in 2021. This downwards trend has accelerated as the Ministry of Health has rolled out programmes such as ‘VapetoQuitStrong’, aimed at young indigenous smokers. If global leaders acted like New Zealand, 200 million lives could be saved.’
Commenting on New Zealand’s approach, Director of the WVA Michael Landl said:
“New Zealand’s approach to vaping is an excellent example for the rest of the world, and shows how vaping can be used to reduce health inequalities and drive down smoking rates. If other countries followed suit, millions of lives would be saved and millions more would improve their quality of life. New Zealand has a real responsibility to share its success story.”
2021 is a critical year for public health policies globally. The global ‘COP9’ conference, run by the WHO, will take place this November and set the direction for anti-smoking and vaping policies worldwide. But in direct opposition to the evidence on vaping, which has been shown to be at least 95% less harmful than smoking, the WHO has time and time again called for countries to regulate vapes as harshly as traditional cigarettes.
Following through on the WHO’s intentions would spell disaster for vapers and for public health. Millions of vapers may be forced back to smoking due to tax hikes, flavour bans, and other restrictions that would reduce access to vapes.
Landl added: “More than 8 million people still die every year from smoking, according to the WHO’s own figures. And the WHO now has an opportunity to beat smoking for good. But to do this they need to take a step back and look at the wealth of scientific evidence and the firsthand experience of millions who have used vapes to quit.
It is vital that Kiwis who vape take note and demand that their government put science first on the world stage. The only way policymakers will hear us is if we fight together and back vaping to beat smoking.”
Notes to editor:
- The Back Vaping. Beat Smoking campaign hub is available here.
- More information on the Vape Bus can be found here.
- More detail on how 200 million lives can be saved is available here.
- The World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) amplifies the voice of vapers around the world and empowers them to make a difference for their communities. Our members are 25 vapers associations as well as over 15,000 individual vapers from all over the world. More information on www.worldvapersalliance.com
- Next FCTC COP9 meeting will be held 8–13 November 2021.
- New Zealand vapers can support vapers around the world by writing an email to their politicians here.
Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance