The New Zealand government's plan to repeal some tobacco laws has sparked controversy. Parents of young smokers are worried about future setbacks.

The New Zealand government's plan to repeal some tobacco laws has sparked controversy. Parents of young smokers are worried about future setbacks.

According to a recent report by New Zealand media nzherald, the mother of a teenage smoker expressed "extreme fear" about the coalition government's plan to repeal part of the smoke-free law and believed it would be a "retrograde step" for future generations. Aggressive proponents of teen vaping salons believe the government is giving us tax breaks at the expense of our children’s health.

The Coalition government plans to repeal parts of 2022 Labor legislation that would have drastically reduced the number of tobacco retailers, removed most nicotine from tobacco and banned smoking for future generations for the first time in the world.

The government would use the savings to fund tax cuts. The government says it understands parents' concerns about teenagers smoking and vaping, but it is repealing smoke-free legislation that has not yet come into force because it believes there are better ways to help people quit. It will continue its efforts to reduce smoking rates and strengthen e-cigarette regulations.

Bay Area mother-of-one Megan Verney said she believed the government had reversed course on making New Zealand a smoke-free zone without replacing it. She said New Zealand had come a long way and now "the rug has just been pulled out of the blue". And one Bay Area mother of six, who asked not to be named, expressed "extreme anger" about plans to repeal smoke-free measures.

Smokers' Kids New Zealand president and mother-of-two Marnie Wilton said she was "shocked" and "angry" by the move to repeal the legislation. She believes that if the government cannot show moral leadership on smoking, then she does not believe it can solve the problem of youth vaping.

Letitia Harding, chief executive of the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation, fears removing the measures will support "the normalization of smoking, vaping".

Parents of teenage smokers are worried about plans by the Coalition Government to repeal three aspects of smoke-free legislation. To this end, a spokesman for Baiguantie Tobacco said the group believed e-cigarette products played a "key role" in the decline in smoking rates in New Zealand.

A spokesman for New Zealand's Ministry of Health said that the government's tobacco excise tax revenue was US$1.98 billion in 2019/19 and dropped to US$1.666 billion in 2022/23. E-cigarette products are not subject to consumption tax. Annual returns from specialty e-cigarette retailers show market sales of approximately $404 million in 2022.
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