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Ed Sheeran

Old controls no good for new vaping phenomenon

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A Maori tobacco control researcher is welcoming a government review of e-cigarettes, but fears it is starting from the wrong premise.

Associate Health Minister Sam Lotu-Liga has released a consultation document on ways to legalise sale of e-cigarettes containing nicotine should be legalised.

He's proposing sales be restricted to people aged 18 years and over, there would be no advertising, and their use would be banned in smoke-free areas.

Dr Marewa Glover from Massey University's school of public health says even though vaping liquid must be imported or bought online for private use, the use of e-cigarettes is exploding.

She's pleased the Ministry of Health is finally recognising vaping is much safer than smoking tobacco, but it still wants to impose unnecessary regulations.

"This is not smoking and it is not a tobacco product and there is not the harm. This needs to be treated totally differently. This is a new behaviour, a new phenomenon. We do need to understand what the vapers need so they can stop smoking and stay stopped," Dr Glover says.

She says e-cigarettes could make a significant impact on Maori smoking rates if they were easier to get.



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