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Last month the New Zealand government announced a plan to legalise the sale of e-cigarettes and e-liquids containing nicotine, and The Vaping Kiwi is pleased that the government recognises the potential e-cigarettes have to help New Zealand reach its Smokefree 2025 goal.
The change is a big win for the e-cigarette industry as its products won't be in plain packaging, nor will the hefty taxes on normal tobacco be applied. The new rules for all e-cigarettes and e-liquid products, whether they contain nicotine or not, include restricting sales to people 18 years and over, banning vaping in indoor areas where smoking is prohibited, and restrictions on advertising
In March 2011 the Government adopted the Smokefree 2025 goal for New Zealand. This was in response to the recommendations of a landmark Parliamentary inquiry by the Māori Affairs select committee. The Māori Affairs Committee’s report was clear that the term ‘smokefree’ was intended to communicate an aspirational goal and not a commitment to the banning of smoking altogether by 2025. On that basis, the Government agreed with the goal of reducing smoking prevalence and tobacco availability to minimal levels, thereby making New Zealand essentially a smokefree nation by 2025.
The government also announced plans to set up a new regulatory regime that can assess and approve products that are marketed as less harmful alternatives to smoking tobacco. These products include heat-not-burn cigarettes and vaporisers. In England, e-cigarettes are the leading form of quit-smoking aid, used by 35 per cent of smokers trying to quit. However, some researchers argue that e-cigarettes risk providing a "gateway" into smoking for youth. New Zealand's Ministry of Health has been monitoring evidence on the role of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation.
Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox last month said the Government should seriously consider subsidising vaping as a tool to help quit smoking. Associate Health Minister, Nicky Wagner said if an e-cigarette got approved as a stop-smoking medicine under the Medicines Act the Government may consider subsidising it.
About 546,000 Kiwis smoke daily, 15 per cent of the adult population. Every day on average, at least 13 people die from a smoking-related disease - about 5000 a year. Half of smokers die from a smoking-related illness and on average their deaths will be 14 years earlier than if they didn't smoke.
To find out more about vaping and e-cigarettes, please visit the website of The Vaping Kiwi at https://thevapingkiwi.co.nz .