Ministry of Health reminder about vaping

News article

30 September 2019

Concerns have been expressed by school teachers and professional bodies about young people vaping and the Ministry of Health would like to reiterate its advice about vaping.

Children, young people and non-smokers should not vape (use e-cigarettes)

  • people who do not smoke should not vape
  • vaping products are not risk-free 
  • the long-term health effects of vaping are unknown 
  • vaping products contain nicotine which is highly addictive.

Vaping products are intended for smokers only

  • vaping is not risk-free but it is less harmful than smoking
  • vaping products should only be used by smokers wanting to switch to less harmful products 
  • vaping products expose users to fewer harmful chemicals than smoking cigarettes 
  • ex-smokers should aim to stop vaping when they feel they will not relapse to smoking
  • buy vaping products from a reputable retailer and do not risk vaping home-made or illicit products
  • do not add any other substances to vaping liquid.

We strongly encourage anyone who feels unwell after using a vaping product to seek medical advice.  Anyone who feels that a vaping product has caused harm should make a report to the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM)

Recently there has been some media coverage of vaping causing harm, including serious lung illness and deaths reported in the United States and elsewhere.  The Ministry of Health continues to monitor new research and developments. To-date, there are no signs of similar concerns in New Zealand.

Vaping is not harmless, but it is much less harmful than smoking. Vapers who are concerned about the safety of vaping should not return to smoking which is far more harmful.

The Government is working to put legislation in place as quickly as possible to ensure vaping products are accessible to those who need them while protecting children and young people. A Bill to amend the Smoke-free Environments Act is expected to come before Parliament by the end of the year.

For further information on vaping see Vaping facts (vapingfacts.health.nz)

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