Conducted by research house IRI, the survey asked over 500 Kiwi vapers what they thought of New Zealand’s strategy of using vaping products as a quitting tool. Over 80% said that vaping has helped them reduce or quit smoking. Another 62% said they believe New Zealand should speak out against the efforts by the WHO to ban or restrict vaping, and promote their successful tobacco harm reduction methods overseas.

This research was released by the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union in anticipation of the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Conference (COP9) which was held last November. “First, the WHO pressured countries like New Zealand into adopting sky-high tobacco taxes. Now, the same organisation is expressing unfounded hostility to vaping – a tool that in New Zealand has been shown to help smokers quit cigarettes, saving on tax and reducing harms to health,” said Union spokesman and vaper Louis Houlbrooke.

Real life data indicate what actually works

The release highlighted that New Zealand’s Ministry of Health has also endorsed vaping as a smoking cessation aid, and this is reflected in the recently finalized local vape regulations. The plummeting local smoking rates, added Houlbrooke, are evidence that this stance is effective.

“Vaping is a New Zealand success story,” says Mr Houlbrooke. “Smoking rates have plummeted to all-time lows since vaping was legalised, and we’re seeing Jacinda Ardern’s Government embrace vaping to help Kiwis quit. It’s irresponsible of the WHO to peddle vaping misinformation when eight million people globally still die from tobacco-related illnesses annually. That’s almost twice the population of New Zealand, every year.”

“Kiwi vapers recognise that New Zealand has a moral imperative to speak up at COP9 and work with other countries who’ve embraced vaping, such as the UK. Millions of lives are at stake.”

The WHO’s guidelines are not working

Reflecting these arguments, a recent 59-page white paper discussing case studies in several countries aiming to measure smoking cessation-related progress, has clearly indicated that countries following the WHO’s guidance keep struggling with higher smoking rates.

Titled ‘Vaping Works. International Best Practices: United Kingdom, New Zealand, France and Canada,’ the publication was released by the Property Rights Alliance. It consisted of four respective case studies by Christopher Snowdon (Institute of Economic Affairs, the UK), Louis Houlbrooke (New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union, New Zealand), Patrick Coquart (IREF, France), and Prof Ian Irvine (Concordia University, Canada), and confirmed what public health experts have been pointing out all along.

“Countries applying progressive Tobacco Harm Reduction policies are enjoying a significant fall in smoking rates. Whereas those following the World Health Organization’s guidance continue to experience excessive smoking-related illnesses and deaths,” said the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA).

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In-house journalist covering international vaping news.