A new cooperative of vape vendors was launched yesterday in New Zealand. It’s called VTANZ and is on a self-appointed mission to provide vaping enthusiasts with the best vaping experience possible.
VTANZ spokesperson Michael Brader said, “Our goal is to function as a professional, inclusive and supportive retail association to ensure that every vendor, every customer and every vaper in New Zealand can be assured that the products we retail and manufacture are of the highest standard of quality. To this end, members agree to be bound by our published code of conduct.”
Brader states VTANZ is also committed to a fair marketplace that allows the sale of vaping products without unnecessary obstructions. With this goal in mind, VTANZ intends to lobby for changes to existing government restrictions that make it so hard for New Zealanders to enjoy the best vaping experience.
At the present moment in time, the sale of vaporisers in New Zealand is not illegal, but restrictions are in place when it comes to the sale of e-liquids. So although people who wish to give up smoking can buy a vaporiser without much trouble, they are forced to do searching for an online supplier every time their supply of e-liquid starts running low.
Brader and his colleagues at VTANZ have a fight on their hands because the New Zealand Ministry of Health has taken a strong stance against vaping. Vaporisers don’t even get a passing mention in New Zealand’s medical guidelines about how to stop smoking. It seems unlikely this will change any time soon, even though many medical experts point out vaping is 95% safer than smoking tobacco, and one doctor recently admitted he advises his patients to use vaping as a way to stop smoking.
Continuing his criticism of the present situation, Brader said: “Restrictions—be it ill-informed regulation or excessive taxation—not only affects us as retailers but the community at large by limiting their choices as adults on the products that they wish to purchase.”
Many vapers will no doubt share Brader’s opinion, but whether the government will listen remains to be seen.