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Kiwis lead the way towards reducing harm from tobacco

New Zealand’s Government has taken a progressive and welcomed stance on vaping, which is now a shining light in comparison to Australia’s newly announced “war on vaping” which doubles down on their failed medical model for nicotine.

The only plausible outcome of this doubling down is less control on access and more risk to consumers who will either resort to the black market for their vaping needs or, worse, return to smoking.  

“It defies logic that the Government of Australia has effectively banned the safer alternative to deadly combustible tobacco, and yet leaves the deadly product readily available to continue to kill almost 20,500 Australians a year,” said Nancy Loucas, a prominent New Zealand public health consumer advocate and executive coordinator of CAPHRA.  

“We are pleased that New Zealand Health Minister Ayesha Verrall has publicly come out and stated that New Zealand is not looking to follow Australia’s decision to ban all vaping products and support her comments that ‘vaping was an important tool to support people to quit smoking, said Ms Loucas.

“Minister Verrall understands that prohibition has never worked and never will work.  One need only to review the statistics from Aotearoa New Zealand to see that our smoking rates for both adults and youth have plummeted, and that while the daily vaping rate for youth has risen, it is still much lower than the daily smoking rate for youth from even five years ago.” said Ms Loucas. 

“We support Australian tobacco harm reduction advocates in calling for a balanced, evidence-based approach rather than a blanket prohibition policy, which discourages smokers from using legally-regulated vapes to quit and greatly undermines Australia’s smoke-free efforts,” said Ms Loucas.

“It’s now left to New Zealand to lead the way in the Asia-Pacific region by recognising regulated nicotine vaping having an important role in helping people to quit smoking; whereas across the ditch, Australia’s announced policy is misguided, counterproductive and is ideologically- instead of evidence-based,” Ms Loucas said.

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