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Māori voices critical for vaping website

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Māori public health service Hāpai Te Hauora is accusing some in the health sector about silencing Māori voices in the fight to reduce tobacco harm.

There have been allegations the Health Promotions Agency failed to consult with respiratory physicians about the launch of the new Vaping Facts website.

Hāpai chief executive Selah Hart says the most important consultation is with whānau Māori, and their experiences went into the development of the website.

She says the website shares the experiences of wāhine who have used wairehu to stop smoking.

That's the group whose smoking rates are most persistent, and who have been the least positively impacted by other interventions.

Associate Professor Natalie Walker from the National Institute for Health Innovation says alternative smoking cessation medications are not as accessible as vapes, which are safer than continued smoking and highly acceptable to most who are trying to stop smoking.

She says the best smoking cessation treatments are those that work, with no or few side effects, are low cost, and easy to get.

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