Thursday 24 August 2023

Vaping panic

I hate election campaigns.

  • Labour proposes capping the number of vape shops at 600 - the same as the number of licensed tobacco shops when that legislation comes into effect. I had a chat with Phil Barry about the coming smoking rules; it's going to be a mess. But making it simultaneously harder to access vapes will make it even less likely that the new tobacco rules result in people shifting to vape. Excellent that RNZ goes to Action on Smoking and Health's Ben Youdan on it at least.
  • ACT's mused about restricting vape sales to shops with a liquor licence. If Seymour meant that it'd be easy to get spirits at the local dairy, that'd be great, but....
  • The public health people are counting the number of vape shops within 400m of schools. But schools tend to be near town centres. If a vape shop is around a city village centre, it's likely to be within 400m of a school. They're also worried about that those shops tend to be in lower-rent areas. But vape shops pop up in spots where rent is low. And that's also where smokers are - the potential client base. You might as well count dollar stores within 400m of schools. The map's here.
  • The advocacy group for dairies that sell vapes put up a report. Recall that it's forbidden for a vape retailer to sell to under-18s. There are enforcement stings checking compliance. In the second half of 2022, there were 150 covert visits to vape shops (within general retailers) and 245 covert visits to tobacco shops (within general retailers). They found 89% compliance in vape shops and 94% compliance in tobacco shops. It suggests better enforcement of penalties for noncompliance could be in order, but also that they're within ballpark of each other. For the first quarter of 2023, it was 97% compliance for vape and 100% compliance for tobacco. It all suggests social supply is the more important route for kids getting vape; if government wanted to worry about that, it could mirror the rules around social supply of alcohol.
Two more months of this kind of stuff yet to come....

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