Thousands of lives could be saved

The Herald reports:

Thousands of New Zealand smokers’ lives could be saved by legalising domestic sales of electronic cigarettes containing nicotine, a leading vendor says.

The claim by Cosmic, which is selling the devices comes as submissions close today on a legalisation plan and has some backing from public health experts, both here and overseas.

Public Health England, which has helped to revolutionise official views on in New Zealand, has said the nicotine delivery systems can help smokers quit, and they carry only a small fraction of the risk of smoking tobacco.

Auckland University’s Professor Chris Bullen, who led the world’s first high-quality trial to compare the quit-smoking rates of e-cigarettes and nicotine patches, said: “I don’t think they are a magic bullet.

They’re not the sole thing that’s going to get us there [to the Smokefree 2025 goal], but I think they will help some population groups where we haven’t seen a breakthrough before.

“There could be some real potential for Maori smokers.”

His group’s trial found in 2013 that nicotine e-cigarettes were as good as patches, but he said the e-cigarettes sold today were superior to those in the trial, which delivered less nicotine than a cigarette.

“Experienced users can [now] get nicotine equivalent to smoking a standard cigarette.”

What is important to remember is that the nicotine is what is addictive but generally speaking is not what kills you – that is the tar and associated combustion.

A group of Otago University researchers are pushing for dairies, supermarkets and petrol stations to be prevented from selling e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine, saying instead that the permitted vendors should be limited to pharmacies or licensed “vape” shops.

This makes little sense to me.

E-cigarettes are estimated to be 95% less harmful than cigarettes. So why would you make them header to purchase than cigarettes?

They should either be easier to purchase than cigarettes or be on the same regulatory settings, but it is nuts to have a product far far less harmful, far far header to buy.

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