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New Zealand Government Starting 'Vaping Healthier Alternative' Campaign in August

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Kiwi vapers can rejoice — their government is getting on board with vaping as a healthier alternative to smoking — complete with a month-long media campaign!

The New Zealand Government previously announced a goal of getting the country’s smoking rate below 5% of the population by 2025 — dubbed “Smoke-Free 2025” — and the public recommendation that smokers can “use vaping as a healthier alternative,” is sure to help that number plummet.

Retail News Asia reports that the public announcement will precede a media campaign that will begin in August.

A spokesperson for the New Zealand Ministry for Health told Retail News Asia that “there is scientific consensus that vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking.” And, while the organization’s website states there isn’t enough evidence to formally recommend vaping products “confidently as a smoking-cessation tool,” the spokesperson said that “vaping is intended to be a safe gateway for those who wish to give up cigarettes.” The spokesperson also promised more research currently underway will provide more information over the next year.

The news site also reports that the August campaign will limit vaping device access for under age non-smokers and will focus on Māori women who are reported to have the highest smoking rate in New Zealand. Last numbers put the demographic at 32.5%.

The New Zealand campaign is a far cry from nearby country Australia, where recent vaping laws have been tightened, including e-cigarettes being classified as tobacco products, no online sales for the Southern Territory and no advertising in the Northern Territory.