Nancy Loucas, executive coordinator of the Asia Pacific Alliance for Tobacco Harm Reduction (CAPHRA), said: "The New Zealand Asthma and Respiratory Foundation's opposition to the use of e-cigarettes will only bring more minors back to smoking and jeopardize the The country's decade-long smoke-free 2025 ambition.
Loucas' comments come after the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation (ARFNZ) launched a video series called "Spotlight on Vaping". The campaign claims New Zealand is experiencing an epidemic of youth vaping. Along with the Secondary School Principals' Association of New Zealand (SPANZ), it also claims more than a quarter of pupils have vaped in the past week.
"These lurid figures don't take into account that if 26 percent of students did vape in the past week, many would only try it, and secondly, almost all of them would have smoked deadly cigarettes before," Lucas said.
While smoking-related illnesses kill around 5,000 New Zealanders each year, vaping has not reported a single death in the country, CAPHRA said. In fact, e-cigarettes are widely regarded as a positive contribution to the decline in smoking rates in New Zealand. The overall adult daily smoking rate has fallen from 18% in 2006/07 to 9.4% in 2020-2021.
“What ARFNZ didn’t mention is that their 2021 ASH Year 10 Snapshot Survey, which they selectively referenced, confirmed that vaping did not appeal to non-smokers. Only 3% of daily vapers in that survey had never smoked "What's more, while many people may try it, very few become regular vapers, especially non-smoking students," she said.
Lucas said that while ARFNZ made headlines by claiming that young people were vaping, researchers at the University of Auckland came to a different conclusion in 2020: our findings do not support New Zealand's alleged vaping epidemic or a large number of young people Population concept.