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Legalise Safer Nicotine Alternatives, New Zealand!

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Harm Reduction Advocates strongly encourages the New Zealand Government to legalise snus and oral nicotine pouches as part of its tobacco harm reduction strategy

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The Coalition of Asia Pacific Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) is strongly encouraging the New Zealand Government to legalise snus and oral nicotine pouches as part of its tobacco harm reduction strategy. The organisation argues that these products have proven highly effective in reducing smoking rates in Scandinavian countries, particularly Sweden and Norway, which now boast some of the lowest smoking rates in Europe. 

CAPHRA supports Associate Health Minister Casey Costello's interest in exploring these safer nicotine alternatives. Minister Costello is right to look at the success of oral nicotine products in Sweden," said Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of CAPHRA. 

"These products offer smokers a less harmful alternative to cigarettes and could significantly accelerate New Zealand's progress towards its smokefree goals. 

"While some researchers from the University of Otago have expressed scepticism about introducing new nicotine products, CAPHRA believes their concerns are misplaced. The evidence from Sweden and Norway clearly demonstrates that snus and nicotine pouches can dramatically reduce smoking rates without leading to widespread youth uptake. 

“CAPHRA agrees with the government's proposed increased penalties for selling to minors. We support measures to prevent youth access, but it's crucial to maintain a range of safer alternatives for adult smokers. Oral nicotine products can play a vital role alongside other options like vaping.

“We are urging the government to base its policies on evidence rather than unfounded fears. Legalising and properly regulating oral nicotine products would give New Zealand smokers more tools to quit, potentially saving thousands of lives. 

“CAPHRA calls on Minister Costello and the government to move forward with legalising snus and nicotine pouches while implementing appropriate regulations to prevent youth access and ensure product quality and safety.”

Sweden: 

  • Dramatic Decline in Smoking Rates: Sweden has seen a remarkable decline in smoking rates over the past few decades. In the 1960s, nearly half of Swedish men smoked. By 2022, only 5.6% of Swedish adults smoked, a reduction largely attributed to the widespread use of snus and, more recently, nicotine pouches.[1] 

Norway: 

  • Youth Smoking Rates: Norway has also experienced a significant decline in smoking rates, particularly among young people. In 2021, only 1% of Norwegians aged 16-24 smoked daily, a testament to the effectiveness of alternative nicotine products like snus in reducing smoking initiation among youth.[2]

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. 

CAPHRA 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.”

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2564662/
  2. https://harmreductionjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12954-020-00405-z
  3. Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates - https://caphraorg.net/  

Photo Credit:

  • Photo by Josh Withers on Unsplash, cropped and resized

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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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