New Zeeland opens dialogue on e-cigarettes

New Zeeland’s Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ (ARFNZ) met to discuss regulations on e-cigarettes and the importance of education on the subject.

In addition to members of the MOH and ARFNZ at the meeting, representatives from the Ministry of Health were also in attendance. All were in consensus that it is of utmost importance to regulate e-cigarettes properly.

The long-term goal of the ARFNZ is to help the Ministry of Health Tobacco Control group provide clear messaging to health professionals. Letitia O’Dwyer CEO of ARFNZ, says that she’s delighted that they’re in talks with the Ministry of Health regarding the regulation and also the need to educate health professionals and the public alike.

There was an agreement from all parties at the meeting that mixed messages were being disseminated at the moment. Lack of research was blamed for that, although a lot of progress is being made.

A big frustration in New Zeeland is that e-cigarettes was cited to be legalised last year as the country looked to taking a low risk approach to smoking. Smokers and vapers are still waiting for this to come into being. In the meantime, the rise in cigarette tax has led to a spate in robberies of tobacco retailers and many fear that smokers will start turning to the black market to get their nicotine fix.

It is thus imperative that e-cigarettes are legalised as soon as possible and a halt in cigarette tax until this is finalised.

With so much research showing that vaping is clearly healthier than smoking, one wonders why e-cigarettes aren’t promoted as a cessation device in more countries all over the world.