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Country News

  • Wednesday, July 29, 2020
  • WHO unveils Florence, the world's first digital health worker to combat smoking and COVID-19 myths

  • The World Health Organization has launched its first digital health worker, Florence. The digital health worker was created by a company in New Zealand, Soul Machines.

    Because Florence is a robot, there is no potential health-related judgment involved.

    Greg Cross, co-founder of Soul Machines, said in a video that “The lack of human judgment actually makes our digital people more approachable and potentially more helpful.” The primary purpose of the WHO initiative help convince one billion tobacco users to quit smoking. [...]

  • Tuesday, July 21, 2020
  • MP’s Smokefree Amendments Deserve Support

  • “MP Nicky Wagner’s amendment to reverse the Government’s effective ban on oral tobacco-free nicotine pouches deserves supporting. Thank goodness at least one MP read and listened to key submissions and evidence on the bill to regulate vaping,” says Nancy Loucas, co-director of Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA).

    Commonly known as tobacco-free snus, the pouches are placed between the upper lip and gum, providing up to 10,000 New Zealanders with a much safer alternative to smoking.

  • Tuesday, July 21, 2020
  • Australia is out of touch with world tobacco harm reduction policy

  • At least in the United States and Australia, the systems of government are similar. Barring parliament and constitutional monarchism, both Australia and the United States share legislative and constitutional prerogatives that emulate ruling formats like the separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary, and the importance of public comment phases for new and proposed regulations. Consider some international comparisons between the US, Britain, New Zealand, and Australia.

  • Wednesday, July 15, 2020
  • NZ Vape Group Urges Local Govt. to Reject WHO Stance on E-Cigs

  • The Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA) has written to New Zealand’s Associate Health Minister, Jenny Salesa, urging her to reject inaccurate claims by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on smoke-free nicotine products. “As the Government is sending delegates to COP9, and as consumers’ rights to choose to use less harmful products to switch from smoking remain under tremendous threat from FCTC’s continuing failure to address scientific evidence, democratic processes and human rights, we respectfully request that you share with us the details of our nation’s position [...]

  • Tuesday, July 07, 2020
  • New Zealand’s 2020 Budget Did Not Raise Tobacco Taxes

  • “It’s good news the Minister of Finance didn’t use this Budget to hike tobacco tax, as has been the case for the past four years,” said Nancy Loucas, Director of Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA). Loucas believes that while tobacco tax is used as a way of gaining revenue, it has a negative impact on vulnerable groups and does little to motivate the public to quit smoking. “AVCA does not support tobacco tax hikes. Too often they’ve been used as a revenue gathering exercise and always hit the vulnerable the hardest. They’re terribly regressive and (...)"

  • Thursday, June 18, 2020
  • Perceptions of Vaping Among New Zealanders with Kyro Selket and Michael McGrady

  • Dr. Kyro Selket and journalist and presenter Michael McGrady discuss the findings of a recent poster presentation she made at a nicotine science research conference in the U.S. this past spring in New Orleans, Lousiana, USA. Enjoy this episode and the others on the podcast moving forward.