There are now more ex-smoking vapers helping smokers to quit than there are paid smoking cessation practitioners. Meanwhile, Government-paid smoking cessation workers peddle their patches and gum, sprays and meds, and insist upon smokers attending group therapy.
If the Government and public health advocates stuck to a precautionary approach we could almost forgive them, but the market is changing at such a rapid rate that there is a real risk the Government and advocates get trapped in the past and become blinkered to the future.
It annoys me that the disparity between Māori and Pākehā smoking rates will widen since Māori will be less likely to access nicotine via the internet – the predominant medium for accessing these new products.
But, at least we still have time to debate the role of nicotine in our society. Are we really going to get all puritanical about people using nicotine if it’s in a form that is no more harmful than their coffee addiction?
Didn’t we do all this smokefree campaigning to reduce disease and early deaths?
Perhaps it’s time for public health to stand aside and let smokers help themselves now that there is something better than smoking that they can switch to.
Emphasis added. Endorsed, obviously.