Vaping - "It may not be healthy at all"

By Te Ao with MOANA
Te Ao with Moana host Moana Maniapoto with former public relations expert David Slack.

A former public relations expert says vaping is being allowed to take rapid hold in New Zealand because big tobacco companies are pitching it as a healthy alternative to smoking, when it may not be healthy at all.

Writer David Slack told Moana Maniapoto that there is real reason for concern.

“Believe it or not, this is being permitted to an extent you wouldn’t see elsewhere in the supply of food and beverage in the way it’s happening here, which is to say really fast.”

Slack, who as a former lobbyist has insight into the methods large corporates use to get their way, says tobacco companies have framed vaping in such a way that many potential problems are being glossed over.

“There are real concerns about how addictive is it, twice as addictive to nicotine using vaping as with smoking, and also other carcinogenic dimensions to it as well, but it’s getting waived through because it’s sort of seen as a healthy alternative. It may not be healthy at all.”

He says rather than promoting vaping or other smoking alternatives, the best and healthiest course may simply be to pursue a completely smoke-free goal.

“Why don’t we just say close it all down, every last bit of it, and make it neither of these things available in our country because then what happens if you can’t smoke, you don’t smoke.”

Te Ao with Moana invited multinational tobacco company Philip Morris International to appear on the programme, but they declined. In a statement, the company said:

“We want to reiterate that we’re committed to the government’s smoke-free 2025 goal and are working hard as a company to give up cigarettes and transition to a smoke-free future.”

Read the full statement from Philip Morris here.

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CLICK this link to watch Te Aho with Moana's interview with health advocates Dr Nina Scott and Shane Bradbrook.