New Zealand is the only developed country that has banned vaping in public places, but it’s still one of the fastest-growing tobacco-smoking countries in the world.
It’s a big part of the reason why cigarette sales are still booming in the country.
With e-cigarettes on the rise, and a huge market for them, the government is taking steps to crack down on the products and make sure that New Zealand doesn’t fall victim to their popularity.
The government has launched a campaign aimed at making e-cigarette use more acceptable.
“We are now working with the tobacco industry to help us introduce a range of rules that we believe will protect our public health,” the Department of Health said in a press release announcing the plan.
The campaign also includes the creation of a public vaping education centre in every district.
“The campaign will encourage people to use e-cigs as a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes,” a government spokesperson said.
“Our goal is to make vaping an enjoyable and sustainable choice for people who want to reduce their tobacco use and to make sure people who do not want to smoke cigarettes can still enjoy their daily nicotine and tobacco consumption.”
The campaign, which is being launched at a time when e-cig sales have soared, has already been met with criticism from the tobacco and e-commerce industries.
Last week, the industry released a report claiming that the new campaign is “anti-tobacco”, claiming that it will make it harder for people to quit smoking cigarettes.
“This campaign will not help smokers stop using tobacco, but will instead push them to smoke other products that are far less harmful to the public health than cigarettes,” the tobacco lobby group said in an open letter to the government.
However, the tobacco trade group says the campaign is not anti-smoking, but “good for business”.
“The government’s strategy to encourage smoking is not based on harm reduction, but rather the goal of reducing the number of smokers,” said Michaela Egan, the group’s executive director.
“The industry supports a smoke-free environment, which will make a big difference to our economy.”
New Zealand has one of highest cigarette consumption rates in the developed world, and is considered one of its most smoking-free countries.