Sunday, May 9, 2021
Times of Georgia
HomePolitical$1.6m On Vape To QuitStrong Proves Govt Knows What Works

$1.6m On Vape To QuitStrong Proves Govt Knows What Works


Confirmation that over $1.6 million is being spent on the
Vape to QuitStrong campaign is proof the Government believes
vaping is the most effective smoking cessation tool. It’s
now urgent that belief is also reflected in the country’s
final vaping regulations and smokefree action plan, says a
leading tobacco harm reduction advocate.

The Aotearoa
Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA) says official information
released shows the Ministry of Health has funded a budget of
$1,670,000 for the Vape to QuitStrong campaign between the
2019/2020 and 2021/2022 financial years.

The total
budget for the campaign includes strategy development,
creative development, media placement, agency fees, and an
allowance for operational costs.

“After some delays
while last year’s vaping legislation was passed, it’s
great the Vape to QuitStrong campaign was launched a few
weeks ago. It has made a good splash on the likes of
primetime television and radio, with poster and bus shelter
campaigns in communities with a high smoking prevalence,”
says Nancy Loucas, co-director of AVCA.

Available on
its website, the Ministry’s business case for the current
campaign puts a strong focus on young Māori women who
remain disproportionately represented in New Zealand’s
smoking rates.

“The Ministry of Health makes it very
clear that vaping products can make a real contribution to
the Smokefree 2025 goal as well as disrupt significant
inequities. Subsequently, the Ministry confirms that Vape to
QuitStrong centres on a behavioural change campaign that
will support young Māori women to successfully switch to
vaping,” she says.

As well as supporting smokers to
switch to vaping and stop smoking completely, the business
case says a successful campaign will be defined by
‘reducing inequalities in smoking prevalence, particularly
between Māori and non-Māori… and enable health
practitioners, smokers and the broader community to better
understand that vaping is significantly less harmful than
smoking’.

However, AVCA is concerned that despite
over $1.6 million of taxpayers’ money being spent on the
Vape to QuitStrong’ campaign, the Government’s latest
Smokefree 2025 reboot and its pending vaping regulations
will both overlook the key role vaping can play in getting
more Kiwis off deadly cigarettes.

“Good on the
Ministry of Health and the Health Promotion Agency on its
work with Māori to deliver a campaign that they all know
will be effective. These same people now just need to feed
their extensive knowledge into the Government’s proposals
for the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan as well as the
final vaping regulations which will be signed off by Cabinet
by the end of June. Otherwise, the best opportunities we
have to free our at-risk communities from tobacco will be
squandered,” says Ms Loucas.

AVCA is encouraging
smokefree supporters, as well as vape consumers and
businesses, to review and submit on the Government’s
smokefree discussion document, released by Associate Health
Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall, before 31 May 2021 via: https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/proposals-smokefree-aotearoa-2025-action-plan

The
Vape to QuitStrong television ad:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBiCKuHU0so

Other
campaign resources:

https://www.hpa.org.nz/vapetoquitstrong-resources

The
campaign is backed up with a Government website on
vaping:

https://vapingfacts.health.nz

The
campaign’s business case:

https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/pages/business-case-public-education-campaign-vaping-redacted-11jun2019.pdf

About
AVCA

AVCA was formed in 2016 by vapers across New
Zealand wanting their voices heard in local and central
government. All members are former smokers who promote
vaping to help smokers quit – a much less harmful
alternative to combustible tobacco products. AVCA does not
have any affiliation or vested interest in industry –
tobacco, pharmaceutical and/or the local vaping
manufacturing or retail sectors.

www.avca.org.nz

© Scoop Media

 



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