New Zealand-owned vaping and e-cigarette company, Alt, is supporting calls for tobacco to be removed from dairies. Alt believes the move would bring considerable health and security benefits. “This would be a really positive move all round. What’s more, dairy owners need not worry about losing income as ongoing hikes in tobacco tax and dwindling smoking rates overall are already contributing to lower retailer revenue. While vaping products are proving increasingly profitable for dairy owners and are much better on society,” said Jonathan Devery, Director of Alt New Zealand.
In response, dairy owners have raised concerns that the New Year rise in tobacco tax puts them at greater risk of theft. At the same time Maori public health organisation Hapai Te Hauora is calling on tobacco’s neighbourhood availability to be limited, noting that smokers trying to give up are more likely to relapse if a cigarette stockist is only a short distance away.
According to Alt, telephone helpline Quitline has reportedly received a 30 percent increase in calls over the past month suggesting that taxes can motivate smokers to stop. However, Devery agrees that the country’s Smoke-Free 2025 strategy needs to look beyond tax alone and towards reducing tobacco availability.
“Alt’s ambition is for a Smoke-Free New Zealand by 2025 where the country is free from cigarettes and tobacco. The Government now needs to also consider the availability of tobacco and getting cigarettes out of our corner dairies would be a great start.”
Devery thinks that if the country’s smoke-free goal is to be achieved, vaping and e-cigarette products must be readily available and advertised in a regulated and responsible manner. “Encouraging smokers to switch to vaping is key to New Zealand becoming a smoke-free country.”
“There is a growing call for dairies to only sell vaping and e-cigarette products. Sure nicotine is addictive but it is not carcinogenic and can never be equated to smoking. For those wanting to give up smoking, having vaping not tobacco products in the neighbourhood dairy would help considerably.”