Kiwi’s are loosening their regulations to improve health, but Australia continues to refuse the evidence
Around the world countries have addressed vaping’s rise to popularity in different ways. Countries like the UK have welcomed vaping and embraced it as a harm reduction and smoking cessation tool. Others have been reluctant, or even stubbornly against vaping, viewing it as merely a different version of same old tobacco products. It has been near a decade since vaping came into the public eye, and for the majority of that time, Australia and New Zealand have had very similar prohibitive laws surrounding it. But now New Zealand is stirring up a change.
New Zealand, in a move that distances them from their neighbor Australia, has decided to support vaping, backing it for it’s benefits to former smokers. This shift is part of New Zealand’s latest push against tobacco products. In addition to benefiting New Zealanders, this move puts Australia in the hot seat, highlighting their still stringent policies and bringing into question whether these policies are still viable.
South Pacific Vaping
In the face of the growing amount of studies and reports that prove vaping to be pivotal in the fight against cigarettes, Australia has kept their laws on lock. If an Australian wants to pursue vaping, then they need to get a prescription from their physician and find a specially licensed chemist to store and distribute the liquid they vape. Going around this method and procuring your vaporizer and e-liquid illegally means that you face hefty fines and possibly even jail.
These laws are not in place simply because they haven’t been discussed or revised since being put in place, on the contrary. Earlier this year lawmakers discussed loosening the regulations and decided against it. The ruling was made in spite of the committee chairman, Trent Zimmerman, saying that vaping has the potential to save countless lives if supported by the government.
New Zealand, on the other hand, has assessed the evidence on vaping and found that the benefits outweigh the risks. They have now acknowledged the fact that vaping is substantially safer than cigarettes, and have started changing laws to reflect this shift. First, they have made the sale of vaporizers and accessories, including nicotine e-liquids, legal. The government hopes that in changing these laws vaping will be able to support them in their goal to become smoke-free as early as 2025.
Evidence Supports Vaping
While lawmakers, not only in the South Pacific but around the world continue to fight about the ethics of vaping, scientists continue to publish works about its effectiveness. One of the more notable, a long-term study by Public Health England, found vaping to be a minimum of 95% safer than vaping. Researchers were clear that vaping is not 100% harmless, but that it is a substantially better option than combustible cigarettes.
Another study out of the University of Louisville took a look at various methods of smoking cessation. They tested vaping against nicotine gums, patches, and even prescription drugs like Chantix. Of the methods on the market for assistance in quitting cigarettes, they found vaping to be the most effective at helping smokers quit successfully.
As vaping continues to rise in popularity, more new questions need to be answered. The sheer variety of responses vaping has gained from all the various governing bodies of the world is astounding, but not surprising with such a new and burgeoning industry. The UK has led the charge in many ways, supporting vaping and incorporating it into smoking cessation programs. Australia and New Zealand have long been viewed as the harshest among western nations, with their extreme regulations. That is a big part of why it is so inspirational to see New Zealand revising their laws in line with all of the evidence indicating vaping’s value.
Vaping has been proven as a safer alternative to smoking, along with being shown as the most effective smoking cessation tool at the world’s disposal. New Zealand’s change of heart will likely put Australia’s firm fisted rules into the spotlight as being archaic. It’s moves like New Zealand’s that will bring change into the world with the harm reduction and smoking cessation power of vaping. More changes like this simply must take place if vaping is to be respected and utilized the world over.
Do you think it’s a sign of things to come that NZ rolled back their regulations? Should vaping be equated with tobacco products? Is it essential for Australia to change their mind about vaping? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.