NZ health researchers back e-cigarettes

Radio NZ reports:

It is illegal in New Zealand to sell e-cigarette liquid containing nicotine; only Ministry of Health-approved nicotine replacement therapies such as patches and gum can be sold.

People smoke e-cigarettes by inhaling a liquid vapour produced by vapouriser – a practice backed by the government in the UK, which allows them to be sold everywhere, including in supermarkets and at corner shops.

Prof Blakely said the benefits of vapourisers included a 50 percent increase in quit rates when people vaped while trying give up cigarettes.

Yet they remain illegal.

Prof Glover said legalising vaping could be worth considering.

She said there were many “lies” circulating about the safety of vaping, including “dodgy research” that deliberately created negative results.

But British research such as the Public Health England report and a review by the Royal College of Physicians UK had concluded that vaping was about 95 percent safer than smoking, she said.

“There are some unknowns but all signals – looking at the UK, looking at the US, and the drop in prevalence in those countries – far more rapid than we’ve experienced here.”

If the Government was serious about reducing harm from from smoking, it would fast track a law change to allow people to access e-cigarettes as least as easily as actual cigarettes. The status quo of making it illegal to sell the liquid for e-cigarettes must go.

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