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CAPHRA Supports Beaglehole's Commentary On Vaping In New Zealand

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) supports Emeritus Professor Robert Beaglehole's recent commentary on New Zealand's progress in addressing vaping among young people. Beaglehole, the chair of Action on Smoking (ASH) New Zealand, spoke with Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB, highlighting the positive trends in vaping rates among young people.

According to a recent ASH Year 10 survey, youth regular vaping has decreased for the second year in a row, and daily smoking remains very low. Beaglehole emphasized that New Zealand seems to be "getting things right at last" with regard to vaping.

He noted that the country is moving in the right direction, with new regulations requiring disposable vapes to have removable batteries, child safety features, and a maximum nicotine strength of 20 milligrams per millilitre.

However, Beaglehole also expressed concerns about the Ministry of Health's approach to nicotine limits in the NZ Herald, stating, "They have got that completely wrong. For cigarette smokers who are transferring off the most harmful product, they need the substitute to provide the nicotine that they were getting from the cigarettes. Often that will require a much higher dose than the 20mg limit now set".

CAPHRA calls for a more balanced approach from existing tobacco control groups in response to the New Zealand Government's recent announcement about amending smokefree laws.

“We believe that the positive trends in youth vaping rates demonstrate the effectiveness of current regulations and support the need for continued efforts to strike a balance between preventing young people from vaping and encouraging adults who smoke to switch to vaping as a way to quit smoking,” said Nancy Loucas, a public health policy expert and passionate advocate for tobacco harm reduction and executive coordinator of CAPHRA.

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“We urge tobacco control groups to recognise the progress made in reducing youth vaping rates and to collaborate on further measures that protect young people while supporting adults who smoke in their journey to quit smoking,” said Ms Loucas.

“This includes re-evaluating the nicotine limits to ensure that they are appropriate for adults who smoke transitioning from cigarettes to vaping products,” Ms Loucas said.

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