Govt urged to loosen e-cigarette rules

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Academics say research shows e-cigarettesare one way smokers can reduce their nicotine intake and lead healthier lives.

They are calling on the Ministry of Healthto loosen rules which prevent them being sold in New Zealand.

People inhale and exhale the liquid vapourproduced by an electronic cigarette, otherwise known as a vapouriser.

But while it’s illegal in New Zealand tosell ones with nicotine, the UK Government backs their use and allows them tobe sold everywhere, including in supermarkets and corner shops.

Prime Minister David Cameron made a speechlast month in support of the electronic cigarettes.

“I think we do need to be guided bythe experts…one million people are estimated to have used e-cigarettes tohelp them quit or have replaced smoking with e-cigarettes completely.”

E-cigarettes were a “very legitimatepath” for many people to improve their health, he said.

Calls for NZ to change its rules

In New Zealand, only Ministry ofHealth-approved nicotine replacement therapies such as patches and gum can besold.

The ministry’s website states: “thereis not enough evidence to be able to recommend e-cigarettes as an aid toquit”.

But Massey University College of Healthassociate professor Marewa Glover said nicotine content in e-cigarettes was nomore harmful than that found in legal quitting aids such as patches.

“They should just be on the market asa consumer product. They are 95 percent safer than smoking cigarettes, I don’teven think they rate as a health issue actually. The toxins in vapour isminiscule compared to a cigarette.

source: Radio New Zealand News