Uncertainty in the race for Smoke-free 2025…
Uncertainty in the race for Smoke-free
NZ Smokeless Tobacco Co is appalled by the lack of solutions from the Government to fast track outcomes to achieve this uncertain goal.
Miles Illemann, Co-Founder of NZSTC, said, “our organisation has approached both health ministers regarding Nationals New Pathway to Smokeless Alternatives and Nicotine Delivery Products and their replies were, ‘I am still considering the proposals from the previous Government’ which quite frankly is not good enough!”
Yes, New Zealand has a crisis on its hands around the crime from the cigarette black market trade but having organisations like ASH and BAT arguing over spilt milk is not helping this process.
We need change and that’s what New Zealanders want, like the NZDF going smoke-free in 2020 and are already using smokeless alternatives to help them quit.
NZSTC wants to clear up a few things when talking about tobacco. Firstly, it is cigarettes causing the deaths. Yes, they are tobacco, but it is the way of which it is consumed that is the problem. If we look at the “Swedish Experience” regarding oral tobacco like snus, studies show that it is the most effective way to quit smoking with no risk of cancer. Therefore, cigarettes should be the word of choice used to attack the problem because if we are wanting this Government to change, we need to remove the stigma that cigarettes have on tobacco.
If we look at Norway for example, we see that by snus being readily available to smokers, the ability to change the statistics around to meet our goals in 2025 is quite possible. It’s not going to happen from plain packaging or any other way except for healthy alternatives to nicotine through a harm reduction strategy.
Let’s remember that we are living in a democracy, people have the freedom of choice. We shouldn’t be thinking about taking things away from the people but giving them more healthy options like we have seen in the past with e-cigarettes.