Activists in Hastings Call for Action to Protect Children's Health

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Activists in Hastings Call for Action to Protect Children's Health
Residents in Hastings, New Zealand, will rally on February 24 demanding government action to prioritize children's health over tobacco profits.

Residents of Hastings, New Zealand will be holding an event on February 24 to call on the central government to take action to prioritize children's health over the profits of big tobacco companies. Organizer Sukhdeep Singh expressed disappointment in the government's lack of specific actions to curb the rapid increase of e-cigarette shops in Hawke's Bay and across the country, as reported by Scoop Media on February 21.


Singh stated: "In September of last year, I organized a event to oppose the opening of an e-cigarette store next to a local elementary school. Residents in the area came together to show their opposition, however, the store continues to operate. Our goal is to show national political leaders that we will not sit idly by as these stores contribute to the growing youth e-cigarette crisis.


Meanwhile, Charyl Robinson, spokesperson for "No Nicotine Kids" in New Zealand, pointed out that the government has changed its approach to the issue of e-cigarettes among adolescents and must take responsibility. Robinson stated, "The focus of smoking legislation has shifted, and we must not forget that more and more young people and children are being targeted by big tobacco companies. These companies are actively lobbying lawmakers to loosen regulations on traditional cigarettes while continuing to normalize e-cigarettes, in order to cultivate a new generation of nicotine addicts and ignite profits for themselves.


This event received support from the New Zealand Asthma and Respiratory Foundation, Health Coalition Aotearoa, and Asprie Aotearoa. Various guests spoke at the event, including city councilors, opposition council members, principals, and health educators, expressing their concerns and worries about the e-cigarette crisis among New Zealand youth.


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