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Health Ministry Error

The New Zealand Ministry of Health is pushing ex-smokers back to tobacco use, according to the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates

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The New Zealand Ministry of Health is pushing ex-smokers back to tobacco use, according to the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA). The advocacy group representing vapers in the Asia Pacific region says that the government’s proposed limits on nicotine concentrations in vaping liquids may not help smokers quit and could backfire.

CAPHRA submitted a response to the New Zealand Ministry of Health's proposal to cap reusable vaping product nicotine concentrations at 28.5mg/mL for nicotine salts. CAPHRA executive coordinator and prominent New Zealand public health consumer advocate Nancy Loucas argues in the submission that limiting nicotine levels could push users back to smoking cigarettes. 

Many lower-powered vaping devices currently require higher nicotine concentration liquids to effectively deliver nicotine to users, so reducing the legal nicotine limit would disproportionately impact lower-income New Zealanders who cannot afford more advanced devices,” said Ms Loucas. 

Instead of limiting nicotine levels, enforcement of vaping retailer regulations and public education should be priorities,” she added.

The submission states: "The regulations as they are written are fine. The clarification needs to follow the regulations as written. Instead of this, it would be best to spend time and money on the enforcement of shops, and education of the community." 

Loucas concludes by urging policymakers to consider the needs of vulnerable smokers: "The prevalence of smoking in Aotearoa is among the poorest and most vulnerable populations. They would be unable to afford more expensive and efficient devices that would deliver the nicotine they need to get and stay smokefree [which] are out of their reach."

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Advocates is a regional alliance of consumer tobacco harm reduction advocacy organisations. Its mission is to educate, advocate and represent the right of adult alternative nicotine consumers to access and use of products that reduce harm from tobacco use.

The organisation says it remains committed to advocating for the rights of consumers in the Asia-Pacific region to access and use evidence-based, regulated, and properly marketed harm reduction products as a means of reducing the devastating impact of smoking-related diseases.

We encourage further research, open dialogue, and collaboration with governments, health organisations, and stakeholders to ensure the best possible outcomes for public health,” CAPHRA states.


Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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