The New Zealand Health Ministry has been criticized over its recent move to ban sales of the electronic cigarette brand Hydro on the grounds that such sales are in violation of the Medicines Act, according to a Scoop story relayed by the TMA.
End Smoking New Zealand chairman, Dr. Murray Laugesen, described the prohibition of non-medicinal nicotine as a “step too far”.
Laugesen said that the ban was against public interests as it would force hundreds of former smokers back to smoking regular cigarettes.
This would undermine the country’s goal of becoming smoke-free by 2025, he added, which required nearly 600,000 smokers to quit.
When the price of regular cigarettes rose again on January 1, 2013, to more than NZ$15 per pack, some would quit smoking, but many others would be willing to switch to a safer, less expensive product such as electronic cigarettes, which were effective because they replicated the smoking experience while providing the nicotine, Laugesen said.
Smokers faced a lifetime 50 per cent risk of premature mortality and were entitled to have access to whatever nicotine product would be most likely to help them quit.
“Nicotine products do not cause cancer or heart disease, unlike smoked tobacco products,” Laugesen said. “E-cigarettes, as they improve further, could become the deal breaker for a smoke-free nation.”
Category: Breaking News