Today New Zealand has moved one step closer to being smokefree, according to the largest New Zealand-owned vaping business.
The claim follows this morning’s launch of the Health Promotion Agency (HPA) and Ministry of Health’s Vaping Facts website as part of the Government’s wider public information campaign aimed at supporting smokers to successfully switch to vaping.
“Vaping is an effective tool to quit smoking and a much more healthier and cost-effective alternative. We’re delighted the Government now agrees by publicly firming up its official position. It’s great news for everyone committed to New Zealand becoming tobacco-free,” says Jonathan Devery, who is a co-founder of VAPO and Alt New Zealand with Ben Pryor.
The Kiwi vaping entrepreneurs were advised by the HPA this morning that the New Zealand-specific Vaping Facts website had gone live. The site https://vapingfacts.health.nz/ includes videos; key facts about vaping; and information on vaping versus smoking and vaping to quit smoking.
“In recent years the Ministry of Health has been somewhat agnostic on vaping, claiming it didn’t have enough evidence to recommend vaping products confidently as a smoking-cessation tool. However compelling international evidence has brought them around, with this launch marking a significant step in New Zealand reaching its Smoke Free 2025 ambition,” says Mr Devery.
The launch of the Government’s public information campaign follows correspondence with Alt New Zealand and Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa where she confirmed that the Smoke-free Environments (Vaping) Amendment Bill is on the 2019 legislative agenda. Ms Salesa expects to introduce a bill to Parliament in the third quarter of this year and would like to see it passed before the middle of 2020.
Mr Devery says while the Government’s change of heart on vaping is encouraging, he hopes MPs take a leaf out of HPA’s mission statement and work to ensure future legislation and regulation is ‘evidence-based’.
“It’s great this website shows a wide range of New Zealand health-related organisations all now supporting an agreed position on vaping. Promoting such a united front so publicly can only help more Kiwis to quit smoking, he says.