HoS on e-cigarettes

The Herald on Sunday editorial:

Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa, who made the comment above, went on to say carcinogens found in e-cigarette vapour are “at levels much lower than found in cigarette smoke, or at levels that are unlikely to cause harm”.

So why does “vaping” of nicotine remain in a legal limbo? Why does it remain even more restricted than cigarettes? The previous Government, after prevaricating for years, decided to legalise the sale of nicotene for to customers over 18 but it has not happened yet. Salesa says the new Government has it under consideration. …

But ordinary observation suggests “vapers” are overwhelmingly former smokers and vaping is certainly better for them than tobacco. So why the hold-up in legalising them?

It must be the culture that worries the public health professionals. They might not approve of people sucking anything but fresh air into their lungs, but they know they need better reasons that to restrict a product in demand. They say they have found some carcinogens in the vapour but those do not sound very serious.

They also dispute whether e-cigarettes help people to quit smoking. They might not quit vaping but that should not be the test. Vaping is obviously less harmful and its legality should be cleared up.

Public Health England has said e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than tobacco. Now that is not 100%. But hell 95% less harmful is immense. Allowing e-cigarettes to be easily sold in NZ could be the easiest and best way to achieve the 2025 smoke free goal.

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