Posted by max Stanley on

This week, the government has announced that the Ministry of Health will begin promoting vaping as a safer alternative to smoking.

When Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner made an announcement that vaping was to be legalised, in 2017, at a press conference, a journalist asked her: “Aren’t you just encouraging the inhaling behaviour, to teach people how to inhale?”

Aligning vape products with tobacco cigarettes made them legal, but the process didn’t help to promote vaping as a quit tool or as a way to reduce potential harm exposure. Moreover, Wagner’s replacement Jenny Salesa appeared to shift her opinion with the weather.

In December, announcing a new policy for vaping, Salesa agreed:

  • There is scientific consensus that vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking (around 95%)

  • The tar and toxins in tobacco smoke are responsible for most of the harm associated with tobacco use

  • Vaping and smokeless tobacco products do not combust and are highly likely to be much less harmful than smoking

  • It is likely that vaping can also help smokers to stop smoking

  • Vaping products can benefit smokers who are able to switch

  • There is no robust evidence that vaping may be a 'gateway' to smoking

  • Most young people who vape daily are smokers or ex-smokers

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