One Small Step…

Have to admit here that we are all still a bit in shock over todays’ announcement from the MP Nicky Wagner regarding the legalisation of e-cigarettes as we were not expecting anything that soon after our last meeting in early March where we were told nothing would be happening until after the election.   We are stoked, of course, but reservedly.

While everyone has been celebrating and/or questioning the veracity of the process, we have been discussing the situation and reviewing all the available information (ever pragmatic are we)…

Steve and I both agree there are a few points that absolutely need to be made at this point in time:

  1. Everything up to this point has been a team effort from the community and its’ supportersMarewa Glover started the discussion and then assisted with getting it moving by helping to get Aaron Biebert and “A Billion Lives” to launch the World Premiere here in Wellington.  The merry and loud band of vapers from the Wellington Vapers Group who decided to fight the Council on their inclusion of Vaping in their Smoke Free policy – which we was not won, however it made very clear that the vapers were not going to stand down from draconian policies initiated out of ignorance and prejudice.  The entire New Zealand community agreeing to and allowing for the formation of Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA) to represent them on the national, and now international, level of consumer advocacy to the government and other stakeholders in the process, and lastly, but not least, the support of international experts when the time came for the government to open up a public consultation on e-cigarettes and nicotine e liquid for retail sale in New Zealand.

To all of you, we, the vapers of New Zealand say THANK YOU.

  1. As was outlined in the Press Release (Press Release 29 Mar 17)  and the Q& A document (Q&A E Cigs)  we have “won” a big part of the battle to have nicotine e liquid made legal as a consumer product.  Not medicalised, not restricted to pharmacies only, but a consumer product with no tobacco excise.
  2. All the foregoing aside, know that the valid concerns that are held by members of the community will be addressed in a further submission to the Ministry of Health as it related to “appropriate controls” and inclusion of vaping in the SFEA.   We had previously provided information and evidence for a suggested framework in our submission under the public consultation.  It is to that framework that we will be working towards, see (Consumer Bill of Rights/Vendor MoU)
  3. We have been, and will continue to work with the members of VTANZ (www.vtanz.org.nz) towards providing information and consultation to the government as it relates to legislative and regulatory framework process.

Stay tuned, things are getting interesting to say the least!

Nancy Sutthoff

Nancy comes from a diverse administrative background that includes surgical research administration, teaching (primary and tertiary level), executive administration and community property management. For over 15 years she has been very active in community advocacy with youth, lower income folk needing advocacy and now, vaping advocacy. She brings a wealth of scientific, medical and research administrative/management knowledge with her to her role as CEO/Director at AVCA.