Maori public health organisation Hapai Te Hauora has hit back at criticism of vaping as a smoking cessation tool written by a Whanganui Chronicle opinion contributor.
Hāpai Te Hauora General Manager of Tobacco Control, Mihi Blair, said community members and the smoke-free sector are calling into question the article by opinion writer Jay Kuten for giving what they claim was a misleading and misguided stance on vaping.
"The writer draws a long bow in suggesting that Ministry of Health vaping recommendations should be called into question because they accept feedback from quality vape vendors on their expert panel," Blair said.
She voiced concern at claims of the risks of using "false claims", "deceptive practice" and "opinions of those with vested interests in vaping".
"Do you know who has a vested interest in vaping? Anyone who is sick of losing 5,000 whānau members a year to tobacco; anyone who acknowledges the growing body of research showing vaping is helping many to break free of their tobacco addiction; anyone who cares about our people. We all care- including those members on this Ministry panel- my question is, does this author?" Blair said.