Christchurch list MP Nicky Wagner (National) hopes her Member’s Bill to legalise and regulate the use of electronic cigarettes is chosen for debate in Parliament.
“While these products are currently available, the law is not clear. It’s thanks to sensible and honest self-regulation by the retailers – something they should be commended for – that we have any oversight on these products at all.”
Legalisation will allow the Ministry of Health to promote them as a bridging tool to help smokers quit.
Excise taxes put off price-sensitive smokers, as well as young and potential smokers but not engrained smokers and the e-cigarettes are a useful tool for them. “They simply consume too much nicotine to be able to substitute it with patches and gum.”
Electronic cigarettes are 90 per cent less harmful than tobacco and have the ability to reduce nicotine intake over time, she says ” If we can reduce harm by 90 per cent with something that has a real ability to wean people off nicotine we should do it. But the Government must act, and I urge them to adopt or support my bill so it can go through the House, be refined by the select committee, and give smokers a real alternative to tobacco.”
Based on item in Nicky Wagner’s August Newsletter