The New Zealand Ministry of Health, Manatū Hauora, issued a statement in 2017 that affirmed the potential of vaping in the country’s goal of becoming smokefree. They said that vaping could to help them hit their goal of freeing the people of New Zealand from the chains of smoking by 2025.
Last month they released their first advert that guides people towards vaping rather than smoking. It hails vaping as a legitimate quit smoking aid.
Their website vapingfacts.health.nz is full of useful information. It includes tips for success, a comparison between vaping and other ways of quitting and what vape people should buy.
There are various routes of support. While the message that vaping is far less harmful than smoking it reiterated over and over.
Interestingly at the end of the short video above people are guided to search for vaping facts. One Google search of “vaping facts” in the UK gives a snapshot of the current state of vaping opinion around the world. In the number one position is a factually correct Public Health England (PHE) blog. But the next two are thoroughly misleading articles from Johns Hopkins Medicine and the USA’s CDC. In the fourth position is the absolutely fabulous New Zealand government quit website.
While this is a fantastic step forward for vaping advocacy, it has not been without bumps in the road for the island nation. In 2020 the New Zealand government passed vaping legislation. This brought in limitations on vape juice flavours available in general retail environments such as supermarkets, service stations and convenience stores.
From August 2021 only three flavours will be available in the retail locations; tobacco, mint and menthol. However, within the last few weeks the NZ government has opened up discussion around this. They have had thousands of submissions from retailers asking for the flavour limitation to be reconsidered. This has been backed by widespread advocacy from vapers, and the people in charge seem to be listening.
After the UK, New Zealand is one of the first countries where a public health body has publicly back vaping. With their government listening to pro-vaping voices and looking again at a regulation that severely limits where a proper range of flavoured e-liquids can be sold, does this signal the start of change in public opinion across the world? Sadly this can only happen if more “tobacco control” influencers open their eyes, and understand how vaping has helped so many.