New Zealand’s Minister of Health has decided to fight tobacco addiction by favouring the use of e-cigarettes. Currently, there are 550,000 smokers in New Zealand, which accounts for 15% of the population. Even if there are far fewer smokers than in France (36%), the New Zealand government’s goal is to considerably reduce the amount of smokers in the country by 2025.
New Zealand’s Ministry of Health
Facilitating access to the e-cigarette would reduce the country’s social gap and would help fight against the spread of tobacco-related illnesses. Indeed, in low-income housing, the percentage of smokers is much higher than the national average. Low-income citizens are twice as likely to smoke tobacco. Smoking affects both short and long-term health, and considerably affects purchasing power.
The alternative of e-cigarettes would be beneficial to public health. For the time being, numerous scientific studies have shown that e-cigarettes pose no significant health risk. What’s more, e-cigarettes only release tiny amounts of nicotine and toxic substances into the atmosphere. Such small levels of vapour have no known issues in terms of second-hand vapour.
Nonetheless, the New Zealand government has a few important tips. E-cigarette liquids should be kept away from children. In addition, it is essential that e-cigarette supplies be purchased in specialty shops.
Modifying legislation to promote the e-cigarette
The New Zealand government’s willingness to favour e-cigarettes over tobacco is part of a health as well as societal campaign for change. Initiated in 2011 under the name “Smokefree 2025,” the objective is that by 2025 less than 5% of the population will smoke tobacco.
To optimize the chances of success, the minister of health is considering changing legislation to promote e-cigarette usage. Beginning in 2017, the price of a pack of cigarettes went up 10%. Further price increases are planned for subsequent years. In fact, e-cigarettes might soon be considered the official and most efficient way to combat tobacco addiction.