Friday 12 February 2016


Here's Massey University's Marewa Glover on the case for unregulated e-cigs:
“Vaping is not a public health issue,” she told factasia. It should not attract precious funding away from very real threats to public health. Like many other products, electronic cigarettes and e-liquids are already covered by existing consumer laws. Because of the huge cost involved in assessing, consulting, lobbying and debating new regulations or laws, I oppose the call for regulation of electronic cigarettes, e-liquids and vaping. The money is needed elsewhere – it should not be wasted on this. I do not think it is even necessary to legislate for “safety and product quality”. Existing consumer protection laws should be sufficient.
Prof Glover acknowledged there are “vociferous groups who are opposed to vaping on ideological (not medical or scientific) grounds. They may be scientists and medical professionals, but they are also all ideologically driven to recreate society in their image and or in accordance with their decision about what ‘a better world’ will look like.”
She says vaping (use of electronic cigarettes) “should only receive any attention in terms of the potential for rapidly reducing tobacco smoking prevalence and consumption in New Zealand. No attention at all should be wasted on work effort to regulate, legislate or police vaping. Existing surveys can include questions to enable monitoring of the prevalence of vaping and inform review at a later time.”
Regulatory structures can be pretty fraught if you go beyond the standard Consumer Guarantees Act protections. They all sound nice, but can wind up being a mess.

Put in requirements that each product be approved and you'll kill off any innovation in creating new flavours as each would need a separate costly approval process. Let the public health ideologues lock them up behind prescriptions and you make it that much harder for real-world smokers to make the switch. And taxing them both discourages switching and complicates retail availability.

Watching the public health establishment's response to a massive technological change that promotes harm reduction but that doesn't run through channels where they can clip the ticket along the way, and that also lets people enjoy psychoactive and addictive substances without deleterious health consequences, has been interesting.

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