The time to legalise vaping is now - Wagner

The New Zealand Initiative’s report on tobacco harm reduction further highlights the urgent need for vaping legalisation, National MP Nicky Wagner says.

Smoke and Vapour: The changing world of tobacco harm reduction by Jenesa Jeram shows the need for vaping legalisation in New Zealand by highlighting how current policies are increasingly ineffective in helping long-term smokers kick the habit.

“My Smoke-free Environments (Regulation of Electronic Cigarettes) Amendment Bill currently in the Members’ Bill ballot will allow electronic cigarettes containing nicotine to be sold to people aged 18 years and over.

“The aim of my bill is to assist long-term, daily smokers to quit by improving access to less harmful alternatives and help meet our goal of a Smokefree New Zealand by 2025.

“This is in line with the New Zealand Initiative report, which recommends alternatives like electronic cigarettes.

“This report follows the District Court’s decision to allow the sale of tobacco products except those chewed or dissolved in the mouth. The Court’s decision, and now this report, have opened up the debate around tobacco products and possible alternatives.

“The report recommends ‘light touch’ regulations around the sale of electronic cigarettes and suggests we treat vaping differently to smoking tobacco because of the lower health risks.

“I remain cautious about light touch regulation of these products because it could normalise the practice. These products should be used as tools to help smokers to quit, not as an accepted alternative to smoking.

“I look forward to the opportunity at Select Committee to debate the differing points of view on regulation and how best to handle electronic cigarettes and vaping.

“I want to thank Ms Jeram for taking the time to meet with me last week to discuss her report which provides more depth and breadth to the debate around vaping legalisation.”


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