Ban on e-cigarettes with nicotine “frankly bizarre”

| March 11, 2015

New Zealand’s ban on electronic cigarettes with nicotine has come under fire from a visiting health professional from Australia, where a similar ban is in place.

According to a story by Josh Fagan for Stuff.co.nz, University of Queensland Professor Wayne Hall, who is due to make a presentation at an electronic cigarette symposium at the University of Auckland tomorrow, will join other experts in calling for the prohibition to be lifted.

Hall was quoted as saying that the law created an “absurd situation” where people were resorting to the black market to buy products that delivered nicotine in a less harmful way than did normal tobacco cigarettes.

“You can buy cigarettes wherever you like but you’re not allowed to buy something that’s probably a great deal safer, at least in the short term,” he said. “It does seem a pretty silly policy.”

Hall said the government needed to acknowledge the widespread use of electronic cigarettes by reversing the ban and regulating these products to ensure their safety.

The Ministry of Health’s senior tobacco control advisor, Brendon Baker, said the ministry was “stuck in the middle somewhat” between wanting to encourage people to quit smoking, but not having enough evidence to recommend electronic cigarettes as a safe alternative.

University of Auckland associate professor Chris Bullen agreed that more research was needed but said the current law was “frankly bizarre”.

“It’s not a particularly logical or helpful policy,” he said.

Category: Breaking News

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