• May 26, 2024

New Zealanders Want to Ban Vaping

 New Zealanders Want to Ban Vaping
Image: Tobacco Reporter archive

More than two-thirds of New Zealanders want to ban vaping following Australia’s new legislation making vapes prescription only, according to the NZ Herald.

A poll asking, “Should we ban recreational vaping?” showed 68 percent of respondents agreeing while 27 percent disagreed.

Pediatrician Colette Muir stated that the Pediatric Society of New Zealand was “extremely worried” by the level of youth vaping in the country. “While the health policy intention regarding vaping was to reduce smoking, it is now clear that vaping is causing significant harm to Aotearoa’s tamariki and rangitahi,” said Muir, referring to children and their families. “More needs to be done to prevent youth who do not smoke taking up vaping in the first place.”

“We are concerned that an alarming number of high school students are trying or taking up vaping because their friends do it and they’ve heard it’s safe and are curious,” said Muir. “While the Vaping Amendment Act, which came into force in November 2022, aims to make e-cigarettes less appealing and available to teens, we feel more needs to be done to prevent youth taking up e-cigarettes, particularly e-cigarettes that contain nicotine.”

Health Minister Ayesha Verrall said vaping is important to help smokers quit, but the balance needs to be right to make sure youth don’t take up the habit. “We haven’t got that balance right at the moment,” Verrall said.

National’s Christopher Luxon stated he was open to “all things,” including a ban. “I really think we’ve got our vape settings wrong here in New Zealand. I would really like us to take a step back and really look at them closely.

“It’s impacting our young people. Originally, they were introduced so that it actually could help people come off smoking, but it’s actually created a whole class and a new sector of addiction for people,” he said.