Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: Asthma and Respiratory Foundation
The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ (ARFNZ), along with their Scientific Advisory Board members want to see New Zealander’s quit smoking, however not to the detriment of youth.
Media coverage this week has had a focus on the impact of vaping in schools, with principals noting that vaping is the main cause of students being stood down.
AFRNZ believes a big reason for the youth uptake of vaping could be attributed to the misconceptions surrounding vape harm, and much of the misconception around vaping harm stems from a 2015 report by Public Health England, ‘E-cigarettes: an evidence update’, where vaping was stated to be “95% safer” than smoking. However, this figure is derived from an anecdotal article and is not founded on scientific research.
“The findings from this article have been used as a “tag-line” for the vaping industry and repeated in the media for many years,” says Letitia Harding, Chief Executive, ARFNZ, “Youth have heard this message, and have now adopted the mindset that vaping is safe – even though it isn’t.”
There is pressure on the Government from NGOs, schools, and health professionals to pass the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill through prior to the 2020 General Election, with the hope that some of the restrictions in the Bill will address these misconceptions and reduce the uptake of vaping in youth.
ARFNZ has created a vaping awareness website ‘Don’t Get Sucked In’, which is a resource aimed to challenge youth on whether they have been ‘sucked in’ to some of these misconceptions. The site contains information including what’s in a vape and the risks, as well as what to do if youth are feeling pressured to vape.