16 Dec 2018

Vaping firm defends ads after complaints arise

7:11 pm on 16 December 2018

A vaping company is defending its right to advertise its products on television after complaints were laid with the Advertising Standards Authority.

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Photo: 123rf

Alt is a New Zealand business selling vaping products, and says its ads are responsible and conservative.

Two people have complained about their advertisements, which have run on television after 8.30pm since November.

Alt director Ben Pryor said vaping was less harmful than alcohol.

"The amount of harm alcohol causes from what I've read far surpasses that of even tobacco products which are regulated. So something like a vaping which has been designed to solve the problem as opposed to create a new problem, we believe that that should be allowed to be advertised," Mr Pryor said.

"The ads are not promising anything and they're certainly not pitching at teens or young adults. Primarily we're just pointing out the dangers of smoking and highlighting to smokers an alternative that costs less and has proven to be at least 95 percent less harmful than conventional cigarettes."

Mr Pryor said he was confident the advertising authority would dismiss the complaints.

While nicotine was addictive it was not carcinogenic and could not be equated to smoking or put in the same category, he said.

He said this debate highlighted the need for greater regulation and clarification around vaping, distinguishing the products from smoking.

"We have been advocating for more regulation for five years now. It's great that the government announced last month that it will amend the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 next year.

"We hate trying to second guess what our business position is and young people need to be protected.

"As well as restricting where indoors vaping should take place, we also support the introduction of strict manufacturing standards. What's more we strongly support regulating how the products are advertised because we've already seen cases overseas of big tobacco distinctively targeting teens."

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