Anti-tobacco Advocates Say E-cigarettes are Generally Positive for Public Health

There seems to be an vape shop on every street corner these days, and while changes are being planned in New Zealand, there are still concerns that e-cigarettes will cause a new generation of smokers to "go digital".

The government announced a ban on most single-use e-cigarettes from August, but one health professional said it would be good for public health overall.

Speaking on Breakfast this morning, Australian anti-tobacco campaigner Dr Colin Mendelsohn said disposable e-cigarettes were a tool to help people quit smoking.

"I think there's no doubt now that the evidence is getting stronger and stronger that e-cigarettes(Heated heatsticks supplier) are a very effective method, the best method we have, it's not perfect, but it's by far the most effective method," he said.

We need to strike a balance between giving people safe, quality products and giving people the right information, while discouraging young people from using these products."

He said he has mixed feelings about single-use cigarette bans because of the role they play in adults quitting smoking.

"I think that, ideally, e-cigarettes(Heat not burn tabak) should be available to those who want to quit smoking, but there is a concern that they are more readily available to younger people."

People need as much incentive as possible to make that transition, and from a public health perspective, that's the goal, he said.

Across the ocean, similar concerns about e-cigarettes(herabl heatsticks manufacturer) have prompted a crackdown on single-use sales and demands for prescriptions, but health experts say it has had the opposite effect - fuelling an underground black market.

He believes it would be a "huge mistake" for New Zealand to go down the same path.

"There is no age limit on the black market and the products have not been assessed for quality or safety."

Dr. Mendelson said the prescription model is a "slow train wreck."

"One of the problems is that doctors are reluctant to prescribe nicotine. Doctors in Australia are constantly receiving negative messages about e-cigarettes and they are unsure about it.

"Patients want to know why they need to get a prescription when they can go to the corner store and buy cigarettes?"

Overall, he said, e-cigarettes keep people away from smoking and "pose little actual harm to young people."

"In most countries where e-cigarette use is rising among young people, smoking rates are falling faster than ever - by far the most important result of using these products as an alternative to deadly cigarettes, which is a good thing."