• May 20, 2024

Call for e-cigs subsidy

subsidy photo
Photo by jonnwilliams

The Maori public health organization Hapai Te Hauora believes subsidising electronic cigarettes is a way to help many Maori break their addiction to tobacco, according to a story in the Waatea News.

Tobacco control advocacy service manager Zoe Hawke said she was seeing many Maori who were interested in vaping but couldn’t afford the high entry price.

She hopes a Ministry of Health review of electronic cigarettes and vaping will lead to the lifting of restrictions on nicotine-containing liquids, which at present must be bought from overseas via the internet because it can’t be sold in New Zealand.

But that will still leave consumers with a big up-front cost.

“We just need to support people to get the initial tools, to get the e-cigs, and then they will save money, especially when you look at the taxes on tobacco,” said Hawke.

Patches and gum were already subsidised, so it was no great leap to subsidise electronic cigarettes as part of cessation programs, she added.