While the US cracks down on vaping, New Zealand moves to relax its e-cigarette laws. The government has unveiled their plans to legalise the sale of e-cigarettes in the country, with hopes to get people off nicotine and to achieve their goal of making NZ smoke-free by 2025.
Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner has released a statement announcing the legal sale of e-cigarettes, which will come to force in late 2018. On a similar note, the tobacco tax hike of 2016 was the latest anti-smoking push of the government to rid the nation’s nicotine cravings once and for all.
Providing Citizens with a Lower Risk Alternative to Standard Cigarettes
While scientists are still putting together the particulars of the health impact of e-cigarettes, there is a consensus that vaping is less of a health risk compared to smoking. Easy Puff, an online provider of e-cigarettes and accessories, also believes that e-cigarettes offer the satisfaction of inhaling vapour without the harmful side effects of traditional cigarettes. Because of this, it is no wonder that the number of people buying e-cigarettes has gone up in recent months.
As 17% of New Zealanders smoke (Maori women are the biggest smokers, with 42% claiming to light up every day), access to e-cigs can provide NZ’s smoking population with a lower-risk alternative to standard cigarettes.
An Ambitious Target to Make NZ Smoke-Free by 2025
Tobacco giant Phillip Morris has welcomed the government’s legalisation of e-cigs, claiming that it will help the country achieve its 2025 smoke-free goal. By providing the citizens with access to a broad range of alternatives to conventional cigarettes, smokers will be more inclined to use the less harmful e-cig products.
Furthermore, since rising tobacco prices are also a part of the equation, The Ministry of Health claims that there has been a 6.4% drop in tobacco intake each year between 2010 and 2014 alone — a sign that bodes well for both the environment and public health.
The government’s plans to legalise the sale of e-cigarettes has various long-term environmental and health benefits. Apart from helping Kiwis kick the smoking habit, it also leads to the prospect of a cleaner, smoke-free future.