In March 2017, associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner had said that e-cigarettes would be legalized and that New Zealand was adopting a low risk approach since scientific evidence about the safety of e-cigarettes is still being developed. However, a year later, no formal action has yet been taken to initiate the legalization process.
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NZ Smokeless Tobacco Co (NZSTC), is amongst the organizations speaking up against the local authorities’ lack of action, and its pointing out that unless something is done, the Smoke-Free 2025 goal will not be reached.
“Our organisation has approached both health ministers regarding Nationals New Pathway to Smokeless Alternatives and Nicotine Delivery Products and their replies were, ‘I am still considering the proposals from the previous Government’ which quite frankly is not good enough!” said co-founder of NZSTC, Miles Illemann.
The advantage in embracing harm reduction products
The NZSTC wants to point out that cigarettes are the deadliest tobacco products one can consume and that e-cigarettes and other smokeless tobacco products like snus, could play a major role in decreasing smoking rates.
Snus is a moist powder tobacco product that is placed under the upper lip for extended periods. It is considered as an effective harm reduction product which has helped thousands quit smoking. This product is especially popular in Norway and Sweden, and in fact the popularity of snus has led to these two countries reporting the lowest rates of lung cancer in Europe.
Similarly, the UK, a country that has fully endorsed the use of e-cigarettes as smoking cessation tools, is now boasting the second lowest smoking rates in Europe, second only to Sweden.
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