'The Check Up’ TV show falls short for smokers
TVNZ’s new myth-busting television show, The Check Up, did well to dispel some myths around vaping. However, it unfortunately missed a golden opportunity to help more Kiwis quit smoking.
The comments come from leading Kiwi vaping entrepreneur Ben Pryor who co-owns Alt New Zealand – the largest New Zealand-owned vaping company. The TV1 show premiered at 8.00pm on Monday, 8 July.
“Overall, you’d have to say the story on vaping was largely positive. However, its conclusion wrongly threw a question mark on the long-term impacts of vaping. It’s that kind of fence-sitting that could deter some Kiwi smokers from switching to vaping which is a real shame,” he says.
Mr Pryor says the show did well to spell out the dangers of smoking as well as highlight that vaping is 95% less harmful than tobacco - and that’s according to research commissioned by Public Health England in 2015.
He says the show made clear that ingredients in e-liquids are familiar ones already used in existing consumer products which are FDA and CE approved. Also clear, was that vaping is an effective tool for smokers wanting to quit, and an expert confirmed that evidence proves vaping is not a gateway to smoking demonstrated by New Zealand data showing smoking rates consistently falling.
“However, giving airtime to another person who claimed that somehow flavours and marketing are attracting young people to vaping is absolute rubbish. In fact, comprehensive research released by the Government in April revealed vaping isn't an issue among early teens in New Zealand, with vaping by 14 and 15-year olds extremely low and in fact is falling.
“Good on The Check Up show for taking the time to examine vaping and concluding overall that it’s better than smoking. However, if they’d weighed up all the international evidence, they would’ve concluded that vaping is, in fact, infinitely better than smoking. Let’s not forget it’s absolute language that helps smokers quit, not language clouded with caveats.”
Mr Pryor points to the Ministry of Health and Health Promotion Agency recently launching a website aimed solely at helping smokers to transition to vaping.
“The Government is taking a pretty positive view on the role of vaping as it prepares legislation for it later this year,” says Ben Pryor.