Ringa pakia! Uma tiraha! Turi whatia! Ka ora! Ka ora! I live, I live! That’s how the world famous New Zealand All Blacks start every rugby game. New Zealand has had a curious relationship with vaping. Australia has been very strict on vaping much to the detriment of public health. New Zealand had had a similarly tough stance on vaping until now. The government of New Zealand has now decided to make electronic cigarettes with nicotine legal! This is great news for smokers in New Zealand who deserve a less harmful alternative.
It is kind of ironic that New Zealand has had such a tough stance on vaping until now given the fact that one of the world’s leading pioneers in electronic cigarette research is in New Zealand. Dr. Murray Laugesen has been studying e-cigs and vaping for almost a decade. He is way ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding the potential value of electronic cigarettes. Dr. Laugesen is not a vaping advocate, he is a public health anti-smoking advocate, make no mistake.
Upon hearing the news, Dr. Laugesen said, “I’m absolutely delighted. This will be a turning point that will have a significant impact on reducing the death and disease caused by smoking. It also gives us a real shot at achieving Smokefree 2025.” That is really the big picture. As part of the global vaping community, this does feel like a victory. But far more importantly, this is a victory for the public health of New Zealand.
NZ Recognizes Vaping As 95% Safer Than Smoking
The vaping advocates in New Zealand have applauded the decision and complimented the government citing the fact that their voices were heard. End Smoking Chairperson Professor Marewa Glover said that government officials listened with compassion and responded wisely. He said that this shows that New Zealand is a pragmatic and progressive country.
The New Zealand Ministry of Health was behind the decision led by Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga who said he is committed to the idea of a smoke free New Zealand by 2025. There will be forthcoming regulations regarding product safety but ultimately smokers will now have an option. Smokers can choose to be smoke free with the help of vapor products.
As vapers and smokers in the US move into uncharted territory post FDA deeming regulations and as we surveille a hostile media and regulatory climate toward vaping, it is heartening to see vaping enjoy victories whenever possible. It is out hope that saner heads prevail in the US before smokers are discouraged from making positive health decisions for themselves and for their families.