Vaping grows

The Herald reports:

A Northland retailer selling e-cigarettes is “astounded” by the growth in sales since tobacco prices increased 10 per cent on January 1.

People puffing on the electronic devices, or “vaping” as the practice was known, were becoming a common sight around Northland with the retailer – who spoke anonymously – describing the cigarette substitutes as “the best thing I’ve ever sold”.

E-cigarettes – or electronic cigarettes – are devices that allow users to mimic the ritual of smoking a cigarette. Many glow at the end when activated, as real cigarettes do. Instead of inhaling smoke from burning tobacco, users inhale vapour containing nicotine.

“I’m astounded at how many people are buying them, and at how many people are giving up smoking using them. It’s a quiet little revolution,” said the retailer, who lost both his parents to smoking-related illnesses.

“I gave up cold turkey 10 years ago and it was hell – for about a year. The hardest thing to give up about smoking is the puff and the kick. These [customers] say it’s easy, and they’ve been trying for years and years.”

Yes it is possibly the easiest way for people to quit smoking, yet it is illegal to sell the nicotine for e-cigarettes in NZ – people have to import from overseas.

Holly Bognar said she had smoked for most of her life from about age 13 – apart from when she was pregnant.

“I’d always gone back to it,” the 38-year-old said.

“I was heavily smoking until four months ago and now I don’t at all, not even when I drink alcohol, I’ve transitioned to e-cigarettes.”

Ms Bognar said, when she first switched to her e-cigarette, she puffed on it a lot, a pattern the retailer said a lot of his customers reported.

“Now I’ve sort of weaned myself down, which just gradually happened,” she said.

“It’s also the amount you can save. It was about $65 initially, and a thing of oil (for the e-ciggie) is about $10, which lasts a couple of weeks. That’s compared to probably a 30g in five days, which is $55 and heaps to take out of your benefit.”

So saving $45 a week and far less harmful.

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