THR advocates are happy.

WELLINGTON — In a press statement, the Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA) in New Zealand announced that the official information reveals that Associate Health Minister Dr. Ayesha Verrall is doing well to engage with a broad range of health entities and opinion ahead of the coalition government that finalizes its smokefree action plan.

At least, that’s the remark of a prominent tobacco harm reduction advocate based in Wellington, on the southernmost point of the Cook Strait.

“These groups are very supportive of vaping’s key role in smoking cessation. It’s very encouraging then that Dr Verrall is prepared to listen to their on the ground experiences before she finalises her smokefree action plan,” says Nancy Loucas, co-director of the AVCA group, in a press statement published by Scoop.co.nz.

“If we are to achieve the country’s decade long smokefree ambition then vaping’s role needs to be elevated in public policy and programmes,” said Loucas in the same post. “Otherwise, we will never get there. Thankfully, we now have a Minister with considerable public health experience who understands the practice of Tobacco Harm Reduction.”

“Vaping is a major reason why New Zealand is now enjoying record low smoking rates, but we have a long way to go,” adds Loucas.

The AVCA said that they have long supported the formalization of vaping as an activity that could contribute to the smoke-free missions of the New Zealand government.

In fact, the government there has often sided with evidence provided by public health institutions from its former colonial power: the United Kingdom.

Public Health England and other institutions from across the Commonwealth have all sided with the claim that vaping is 95 percent safer than smoking. New Zealand is one of these states to cite the reduction of risk of smoking compared to vaping.

“Vaping is not harmless, but it is much less harmful than smoking. The healthiest option is not to vape or smoke. Don’t vape if you don’t smoke. Only vape to quit smoking,” states the New Zealand Ministry of Health’s website, Vaping Facts.

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Michael McGrady is a columnist for Vaping Post's English edition. He is a critically acclaimed journalist with awards and recognition from across the industry. He was a finalist for ECigClick's annual vape awards in 2019 and 2020, a KAC Tobacco Harm Reduction Scholarship Fellow in 2019, among other honours. He is also the host of Vaping Weekly, the Post's podcast. All articles express his own opinion and do not necessarily reflect the Editor's view.