Prof Janet Hoek, Mei-Ling Blank, Prof Nick Wilson, Lindsay Robertson, Dr Louise Marsh
Do the New Zealand (NZ) Government’s proposed changes to liberalise the e-cigarette market set out a robust process for helping people who smoke to switch to e-cigarettes? In this blog, we discuss the proposed regulatory changes and explain some of the complex practices smokers must adopt when commencing vaping. We suggest limiting supply of nicotine e-cigarettes to specialist vape stores and pharmacies, to ensure people wishing to quit smoking can obtain expert advice and thus maximise their chances of quitting. We also argue that, at the same time as liberalising access to nicotine e-cigarettes, the Government should restrict access to tobacco, which remains available at thousands of retail outlets throughout NZ.
Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Janet Hoek, A/Prof George Thomson, Prof Richard Edwards
The NZ Ministry of Health is currently reviewing public submissions on options that would allow nicotine-containing e-cigarettes to be sold legally in NZ. This consultation raises questions about how the wider uptake of e-cigarette use (known as “vaping”) will be managed. In this blog, we consider arguments about the indoor public settings where vaping should be allowed or prohibited. We conclude that there seems an overall strong rationale for “Smokefree = Vapefree” in all circumstances for the indoor areas covered by current smokefree laws and policies.
Professor Nick Wilson, Professor Janet Hoek, Frederieke Sanne van der Deen, Associate Professor George Thomson, Professor Richard Edwards
The NZ Ministry of Health is currently consulting on options around making nicotine-containing e-cigarettes available in NZ. Therefore, this Perspective Blog briefly examines possible pros and cons of two plausible licensed retail options: pharmacies and vape shops. It also highlights the need for a very well-considered approach, given consecutive NZ Governments’ poor track record in making policy to regulate addictive substances and reduce harm to public health.
Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Coral Gartner, Prof Richard Edwards
This blog considers recent studies in which the biomarker levels in e-cigarette users (vapers) are compared to those from tobacco smokers. The results are highly variable but all suggest lower levels of risk to vapers relative to tobacco smokers. Yet as the situation with vaping is very dynamic (new products, changing ways people vape) and there is no evidence yet about long-term effects of e-cigarette use on health outcomes, a lot more future research will be needed to get a reasonable understanding of the relative harms.
By a group of nine academic tobacco/nicotine researchers*
E-cigarette usage is growing in NZ and around the world but the scientific evidence-base regarding the benefits and risks of these types of products remains uncertain. The health-based policy experience is also minimal. In this blog post we outline some of the possible regulatory options around e-cigarettes (alternative nicotine delivery systems – ANDS) that the NZ Government could explore and that further NZ based research could help clarify.