In the First sitting of the Fono Ekepule last week, the serious issue of Vaping was highlighted amongst children especially in the easy accessibility of vapes.
In addressing the Assembly, Social Services Committee Member-Ian Hipa strongly stated that more needs to be done to tackle the serious issue of vaping amongst our youths.
Hipa says Vaping has become a major problem in Niue, sharing statistics from the principal of Niue High School.
“According to the Niue High School Principal in 2021, 4 students were caught vaping, in 2022- 5 students, 2023-7 students, noting the figures are increasing.”
Hipa spoke on regulations regarding vaping with a proposal of six recommendations.
He proposed the cabinet to make regulations from the main Tobacco Act inclusion of schools and the underage consumption of e-cigarettes and vapes, penalties to be included in the regulation, public awareness to educate the public on the effects of e-cigarettes and vapes by Niue Health and Education sector.
“Note the issues and reasons raised by education department, head of customs and youth representative are important and valid, the Minister for Social services to consider the full support from the stakeholders to draft legislation for e-cigarettes and vaping,” Hipa added.
Minister for Education and Social Services- Honorable Sonya Talagi says vaping affects us all.
Hon. Talagi said Tobacco companies have purposely targeted our children because we have been educated on the harm of tobacco smoking, we know better now and we need to help our children and our community in general to understand that this is another cycle targeting them.
“The legislation is there and as the members have said, education and awareness of our legislation is critical for everyone to be aware of and understand,” she said.