While the United States is trying to run the vaping industry out of business through the stranglehold of federal oversight, New Zealand is choosing a completely different approach. According to the country’s Ministry of Health, they are considering lifting the e-cig and vaping ban that has been in effect since the devices became a global sensation nearly ten years ago.
What series of events led to the nation’s collection of government officials considering to reverse their stance so abruptly? It’s really quite simple. They listened to the health concerns of their voters and simply reacted accordingly.
Just like millions of Americans, many New Zealanders smoke, and they desperately want to quit. But unlike the United States, they don’t have a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) filling the Internet with false information and outright lies about the “dangers of vaping.” So when the UK’s Royal College of Physicians came out with scientific research indicating that electronic cigarettes are 95% safer than smoked tobacco, New Zealanders took notice. According to documents released by the New Zealand Ministry of Health,
“There is a lack of clarity about long-term health risks to users and the potential adverse effects on non-users exposed to e-cigarette vapour. At the same time, there is general scientific consensus that the exclusive use of e-cigarettes is significantly less harmful than smoking. There is emerging evidence that e-cigarette use may substantially reduce the burden of disease caused by smoking.”
To American vapers, this kind of common sense political response seems like something out of a dream. And all it took was a little persuasive dialogue from New Zealand’s tobacco-addicted community? Not so fast.
(Related Article: ROYAL UK MEDICAL GROUP TAKES STRONG STANCE IN FAVOR OF E-CIGS)
‘A Billion Lives’ and the New Zealand e-cig ban
Many in the worldwide vaping community are giving at least partial credit for the unexpected turnaround in public policy to the recent release of a documentary by Director Aaron Biebert entitled, “A Billion Lives: A True Story of Government Failure, Big Business, and the Vaping Revolution.” Premiering to a packed house at the Annual Global Forum on Nicotine in Warsaw last May, the film is based on a controversial 2012 article by Oxford University’s Sir Richard Peto where he estimates that over one billion lives can be saved from vaping and e-cigs in 21st Century. The documentary is receiving rave reviews around the world, and especially in New Zealand.
Currently, the purchase of e-cigs and vaping products in New Zealand is only legal if the product contains zero nicotine, but all of that may be about to change. The government is now considering lifting the ban as long as very strict regulations are put into place prohibiting sales to minors. The e-cig un-ban is not yet official, but the Ministry of Health is opening the topic up for public debate among its nearly 5 million citizens. Be careful New Zealand. The world is watching. Don’t screw it up!
(Related Article: DOCUMENTARY ‘A BILLION LIVES’ SLAMS BIG TOBACCO, BIG PHARMA, AND THE FDA)