There was a protest of 80-100 people organised by Parakai mother Tammy Downer on Tuesday, 1 August at 3.45pm - Say NO to Vape Protest: Protect the kids of Parakai School.
The protest was covered by Newshub and three other media outlets who reported their story! The protesters want to show our kids they matter more! Vaping harms them most. SAY NO to a new vape store next to Parakai School.
The protesters gathered to show Brews Parakai that our community do not want this new vape store, hoping many others would join them and help make a difference.
“Make no mistake, vaping is an issue for the children in our community. It is addictive and harmful to their developing brains, bringing with it negative neurological, social and emotional impacts including anxiety, depression, learning and memory issues.”
“The more of us present the stronger our message!
Thank you for supporting our community.” says Tammy
“The Project came out to interview us about the vape store along with the store owner. They will be back tomorrow to cover the protest with the story hopefully on the Project tomorrow night. We also have Breakfast coming out in the morning to talk about the issue so look out for the segment around 7.55am.”
On 24 July Brews Parakai confirmed to Tammy that they are behind the new vape store opening next to the entrance to Parakai School.
Below are Tammy’s Facebook posts, with many more to come.
“Don’t think vaping is a big deal? Vaping is addictive, it doubles the incidence of depression, is associated with ADHD and conduct disorders in youth. The nicotine affects their mood, impulse control, attention and has been shown to impact learning and memory. That’s without even touching on the long-term effect on their lungs. The latest NZ data shows 10.1% of year 10 students are vaping DAILY, this increases to 25.2% for Maori girls (ASH Y10 Survey). And they are not starting at year 10, this is happening at our primary schools now.”
“If you think the government are stopping new stores from opening, think again. The regulations promoted to stop vape stores opening within 300m of schools have not taken effect and when and if they do it will not affect existing stores.”
“This is not a matter to wait for someone else to do something. Choose carefully the businesses you support in our community. Tell our government officials that their actions are not good enough and we expect more. They need to take a hard line, vapes should only be available by prescription as a medicine to support smokers to quit, not promoted to our children like candy.”
On 30 July Tammy advised that there is a form to submit complaints to the Vaping Regulatory Authority at https://vaping.harp.health.nz/submissions/new
“Please submit a complaint regarding the location of this store being in direction opposition to the current guidance on their site and the new regulations regarding no new stores within 300m of schools. What I have included in my complaint is detailed below.”
“The new vape store Vape Villa is opening at the entrance and on the boundary of Parakai Primary School. The application for this new SVR has been approved in direct opposition to the guidance on the Ministry of Health website regarding SVRs and against the intent of the changes to regulations announced on the 6th June 2023. From the Ministry of Health website ‘The requirement for SVRs to operate from appropriate premises supports a key purpose of the Act, which is to provide for the regulation of vaping products in a way that seeks to minimise harm, especially to children and young people. Harm can be minimised by reducing the normalisation of vaping and reducing young people’s and children’s exposure to the availability of vaping products.”
The application for this store needs to be revoked immediately to stop harm to our children and young people.