Kiwi Smokers Urged to Make New Year’s Switch to Vaping
Kiwi smokers are encouraged to use e-cigarettes when their Government’s grip on their purse string tighten with a tobacco tax hike on January 1, 2019. The excise tax was raised by 10 percent as part of a series of annual tax increases. Under the current plan, the next tax increase will be on 1st January 2020.
Quitline expects a great number of text messages and calls for support to quit smoking as the New Year begins. Its busiest time is early January. It says quite a few people commit to quitting as a New Year’s resolution, which is a time when a lot of people focus on the cost of the habit.
Mihi Blair, general manager of tobacco control at Hapai te Hauora, a Maori public health organization, said: “People who want to learn more about e-cigarettes or go smoke-free can contact Quitline.”
The group is urging smokers to use e-cigarettes as a way to give up smoking. “Wahine Maori said to beat tobacco tax increases and kick smoking this summer, vaping is the way.”
Compared with 14% among adults of all races, the daily smoking rate among Maori adults is 33%. The government’s “smoke-free” target is for New Zealand’s smoking rate to fall below about 5% by 2025.
“E-cigarettes are much less harmful than tobacco cigarettes and cheaper too. A pack of 20 cigarettes costs more than $20, and some brands even cost more than $25.” said Jenny Salesa, Associate Health Minister.
Compared with smoking, vaping involves inhaling vapor from a battery-powered e-cigarette. You can choose to adjust the quantity of nicotine per puff in an e-cigarette or choose to have none.
Mel Morris, a mother of two, said switching from a longtime smoking habit to e-cigarettes had given her new physical and financial freedom. She paid off her debt and saved several hundred dollars in a few months.
“I went with my daughter and used the money I had saved to buy a Christmas outfit for her before Christmas. Seeing the kid’s reaction like ‘wow Mum, really? It’s so expensive’, I felt so proud.” said Mel Morris.
Hineatua Smith, who is pregnant, said it is difficult to quit smoking during pregnancy. “Without the vape, I don’t think I could have done it so easily,” said her.
Some public health researchers have warned in the past, for young people, nicotine vaping could be a gateway to smoking.
Blair said, “In the latest year 10 school survey by Action on Smoking and Health, there was no evidence of this. There was some experimentation by young people. However, no significant uptake of vaping was found.”
ASH’s survey found that, in 2017, 29% of the year 10 students were reported having tried e-cigarettes, although only 2% were daily users. Smokers were five times more likely to have tried e-cigarettes than never-smokers. 2% of the students smoked every day.
Blair said e-cigarettes did help Maori women quit smoking. “They can start reducing their nicotine intake and then quit smoking. We’ve seen very good results. To pregnant Maori women, e-cigarettes would be a method they can try when they have tried all other options.”
Ryan is a writer, editor and content creator who spends most of his time bringing the interesting, entertaining, original and well-written articles to vapers. He believes that vaping is not only a healthier alternative to smoking, but also a great experience of life.