New Zealand’s Ministry of Health and the Health Promotion Agency, have just launched a website that promotes vaping as a safer smoking alternative. Additionally later this year, the Kiwi government is expected to roll out another campaign targeted at promoting vaping as a way to stop smoking. “Māori women are the focus of this campaign due to their high smoking rate: 32.5 percent compared with the country’s total rate of 13.8 percent,” said Ms Salesa.

“If the Government drops the nicotine levels by regulation to say one-fifth of that found in a conventional cigarette, then that will decimate the local vaping industry with only Big Tobacco coming out on top.”

The government’s position on vaping is that breathing any product into one’s lungs carries risks and should be avoided. However they recommend it for smokers, since research indicates that vapour contains significantly less toxins than smoke.

Meanwhile, ​co-founder of vaping retail chain Vapo, Ben Pryor said that amongst the industry there are growing concerns that New Zealand may be following in the UK’s footsteps in limiting nicotine levels in vaping products.

“If the Government drops the nicotine levels by regulation to say one-fifth of that found in a conventional cigarette, then that will decimate the local vaping industry with only Big Tobacco coming out on top,” said Pryor.

“It would mean less smokers make a successful transition to vaping, so we’d see Kiwis quitting tobacco at a much slower rate. In fact, it’s highly likely the outcome of all this could deliver the complete opposite of what the Government actually wants.”

Higher levels of nicotine are more effective for smoking cessation

In line with Pryor’s argument, another study has found that using higher doses of nicotine, is more effective for smoking cessation than consuming lower levels. The recent review of research related to NRTs, has also suggested that some smokers may benefit from using two forms of NRT rather than one.

Additionally, the researchers found that in smokers who intend to switch to using an NRT, it helped to start using it before quitting cigarettes. This may be because having nicotine already present in their system, smokers were getting less of a hit when they light up, and therefore can make cigarettes less enjoyable.

Read Further: Stuff

GFN 2019: “It’s Time to Talk About Nicotine”

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