One health campaigner gets it on e-cigs

Most of the state funded troughers in the anti-smoking lobby are vehemently opposed to e-cigarettes…which almost everyone agrees are a healthier alternative to smoking tobacco.

One such health researcher however stands apart from the crowd of troughers opposing and wanting to ban everything.

Ordering nicotine-based e-cigarette products off the shelves is “ridiculous”, says a health official and respected anti-smoking campaigner.

Despite being illegal according to the Ministry of Health’s rules, e-cigarettes containing nicotine have been widely available over the counter in Auckland.

But in the past few weeks, the ministry has dispatched smoke-free enforcement officers to inform retailers such sales are prohibited.

The devices, which contain flavoured “e-liquid” with or without nicotine, emit a smoke-like vapour.

One of the major e-cigarette retailers, Shosha, said on Thursday it would get rid of its stock either this week or next week.

Public health specialist Dr Murray Laugesen, who has been researching e-cigarettes since 2007, labelled the ministry’s decision “ridiculous” and said it would drive people back to smoking tobacco. He said e-cigarettes were less harmful than traditional cigarettes, a view shared by the World Health Organisation.

We spend millions on anti-smoking initiatives per annum, funded by the tobacco lobby in the form of taxes, and the troughers are simply seeking to extend their little empire by looking to ban alternatives as well.

The problem they have is the focus the anti-smoking brigade put on the harmful effects of smoking, and when manufacturers devised a way around that they have become outraged. They caused this problem with their draconian assaults on personal freedoms.

“The ministry itself says half of combustible cigarette smokers will die from smoking so what is being set up is a ridiculous policy which enables people to keep on smoking something which is going to kill them. It’s a crazy policy.”

In the UK, 2.1 million smokers were using e-cigarettes and in the United States, more than $2billion was being spent on them each year.

Latest Ministry of Health data estimated there were 626,000 traditional cigarette smokers in the country. “Something is very wrong with the New Zealand policy, especially considering there’s at least 8000 places in the country where you can buy combustible cigarettes.”

Laugesen was surprised the matter had not become an election issue.

The ministry said there was not enough evidence to recommend e-cigarettes as an aid to quitting smoking. It would, however, be “assessing new evidence as it arises, but in the meantime smokers should continue to use approved smoking cessation aids, such as patches, lozenges, and gum”.

Oh right so three other methods of nicotine delivery are ok, but not e-cigarettes. Crazy stuff.

On a positive note I think that e-cigarettes could well be a way to bring back the smoke filled rooms that are so sorely lacking in politics.



– NZ Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.