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Asthma organisation hindering Smoke Free 2025

Asthma organisation hindering Smoke Free 2025

The Asthma And Respiratory Foundation’s overt criticism of the Government’s Vaping Facts website, and vaping generally, puts them in direct conflict with many senior health organisations and significant international evidence,” says Ben Pryor, co-founder of VAPO and Alt New Zealand.

Mr Pryor’s comments follow the Associate Health Minister yesterday launching the website https://vapingfacts.health.nz/ which includes information on vaping versus smoking and vaping to quit smoking.

“The Asthma And Respiratory Foundation is now racing around trying to pour cold water on a very positive website aimed at helping Kiwis to quit smoking. It’s like a dental association criticising a campaign on sugar reduction. They now need to clarify their position as it makes absolutely no sense,” he says.

“Quitting smoking is an essential step for many asthmatics. They need options to quit smoking and vaping is the most effective option,” he says.

Mr Pryor says a 2014 International Journal of Environmental Research And Public Health study looked at smoking asthmatics who switched to regular e-cigarette use. It concluded that overall there were significant improvements in lung function, asthma control and airway hyper-responsiveness.

The vaping entrepreneur also points to a recent Discovery Medicine study that reported not only significant improvements in respiratory symptoms and lung function but researchers also discovered that the switch to electronic cigarettes can help to reverse the damage caused by tobacco smoke in asthma patients who smoke.

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“Let’s not also forget that Maori and Pacific Islanders have a much higher rate of asthma deaths not to mention lung cancer deaths. Key to the Government’s newly launched strategy will be targeting the high rates of Maori women who find it difficult to quit smoking. Surely this must be welcomed, not criticised?”

The co-owner of the largest New Zealand-owned vaping business says the Asthma And Respiratory Foundation’s media blitz against a website produced by Health Promotion Agency (HPA), Ministry of Health and an expert panel, puts them up against a number of health organisations who proudly display their logos on the website.

“You’ve got the likes of the New Zealand Medical Association, Heart Foundation, Pharmacy Guild, Quitline, ASH, and all of New Zealand’s District Health Boards endorsing a message around vaping helping smokers to quit and it being much less harmful than smoking.

“Then out of the blue the Asthma And Respiratory Foundation says it’s too soon to suggest smokers should switch to vaping, that vaping is a gateway to smoking, and it’s supposedly associated with lung damage. These myths have well and truly been busted time and time again by international science and medical research – just ask the Associate Health Minister and her health officials.

“Sadly the only damage being caused this week is from the Asthma And Respiratory Foundation which seems determined to confuse smokers by contradicting the Government, its health agencies, and many big health organisations. Ironically they are now one of the factors standing in the way of New Zealand achieving its Smoke Free 2025 ambition,” says Ben Pryor.

www.getalt.co.nz

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