Maori women who are using vapourisers to help them stop smoking are asking the New Zealand government to legalise e-cigarettes.
More than 40% of Maori women smoke. The New Zealand government has been trying to reduce this figure for many years but nothing has worked.
Increasing tobacco taxes may have put a dent in a few purses, but it did little to dissuade Maori women from smoking. The stop smoking campaigns were equally unsuccessful, but vaping is managing to do what the government could not.
Sophie Strickland had been smoking for 22 years. Then she joined a support group that helps people to make the change from smoking to vaping. She hasn’t touched a cigarette in four months, but there’s a problem. Vapourisers cannot be legally sold in New Zealand.
In an interview with One News, Sophie said how relieved she felt to finally have tobacco out of her life.
“It’s the last thing you think about before you go to sleep and it’s the first thing you think about before you get up,” she explained.
Like many other vapers is New Zealand Sophie relies on the internet to keep her supplied with the things she needs to vape. Many health experts feel the present situation is too ridiculous to go on.
One health expert refers to a report published in the UK that states vaping is 95% safer than smoking. Dr Marewa Glover (Massey University) is also backing the campaign to legalise vaping in New Zealand.
“If we can get people switching to vaping we can start saving Maori lives and reduce disease among Maori,” Dr Glover said.
Vaping has helped many thousands of people to stop smoking, all over the world, but the New Zealand government is still dragging its heels.
Speaking to One News, Associate Health minister, Peseta Sam Lotu-liga, said he would be receiving advice on the issue next month.