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Maori Council calls time on the vaping industry

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The New Zealand Maori Council calls time on the out of control vaping industry - sends a warning that Council is ready to intervene unless the sector is regulated

"What we must do is to apply the smoke free legislation and regulatory environment, this includes a cessation to advertising of all forms, restrictions on sale and this includes online sales and restrictions. We just also provide more support and guidance to schools as well as additional funding to schools to assist with health promotion. I also warn all of those organisations out there feeding off the vaping industry to get your snouts out of the trough - this sort of behaviour will not do and nor will the Maori Council put up with it. I will also tell all who will listen that we are prepared to intervene."

The New Zealand Maori Council has released a series of research reports from third parties backing up the organisations concerns around the potential impacts around vaping. The Council’s Executive Director, Matthew Tukaki, who came in for criticism for his statements calling vaping "a scourge on Maori just like tobacco and smokes" has said those organisations that endorse "vaping" need to go back to the drawing board when it comes to Maori health.

"Council has spent a lot of time assessing the research, speaking with organisations such as the Cancer Society and the Asthma and Respitory Foundation here in New Zealand and offshore researchers and policy makers in the United States where more than a half dozen young people have died - and everything that we have read and seen, tells us that we must clamp down hard and clamp down fast." Tukaki said

"So lets look at the facts and lets look at them in isolation to some of the nonsense being put forward by the vaping industry and those who are involved in this pretty sad form of health promotion:

The US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2018) found that

Conclusion 5-1. There is conclusive evidence that in addition to nicotine, most e-cigarette products contain and emit numerous potentially toxic substances.

Conclusion 5-3. There is substantial evidence that except for nicotine, under typical conditions of use, exposure to potentially toxic substances from e-cigarettes is significantly lower compared with combustible tobacco cigarettes.

Conclusion 7-1. There is substantial evidence that e-cigarette aerosols can induce acute endothelial cell dysfunction, although the long-term consequences and outcomes on these parameters with long-term exposure to e-cigarette aerosol are uncertain.

Conclusion 7-2. There is substantial evidence that components of e-cigarette aerosols can promote formation of reactive oxygen species/oxidative stress. Although this supports the biological plausibility of tissue injury and disease from long-term exposure to e-cigarette aerosols, generation of reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress induction is generally lower from e-cigarettes than from combustible tobacco cigarette smoke.

The New Zealand Cancer Society also goes on to show that "New products are rapidly being developed and marketed. In addition, there can be considerable variation in vaping behaviour between individuals, which may increase or decrease the risk that individuals are exposed to. Several international review studies have raised concerns about potential health risks associated with vaping. The most serious of these are related to the intake of vapour carrying ultrafine particles deep into the lungs. Ultrafine particles have been implicated in cardiovascular disease. E-cigarette use has been found to be an independent risk factor for myocardial infarction."

"Here is the thing - with all of this mind we must put tighter restrictions in place because my chief concern is that our kids are increasingly starting to vape without picking up the smokes. We need to hold firm to the view we need to ensure a smoke free New Zealand and that must include vaping." Tukaki said

"What we must do is to apply the smoke free legislation and regulatory environment, this includes a cessation to advertising of all forms, restrictions on sale and this includes online sales and restrictions. We just also provide more support and guidance to schools as well as additional funding to schools to assist with health promotion. I also warn all of those organisations out there feeding off the vaping industry to get your snouts out of the trough - this sort of behaviour will not do and nor will the Maori Council put up with it. I will also tell all who will listen that we are prepared to intervene." Tukaki said

This is what we know about vaping among young people and children:

Young people start vaping because of curiosity, peer endorsement, novelty, flavourings, industry marketing, the perception it is relatively harmless, to manage smoking restrictions and to stop smoking.

- In 2017, 4% of NZ youth aged 15-17 were current smokers, and 20% of young adults aged 18-24 years were regular smokers. Smoking prevalence has declined among all subgroups of Year 10 students since 2006/07, except for the years 2017 and 2018, which show a levelling off.

- 2018 ASH data showed that Māori students were around five times as likely to report daily smoking as non-Māori non-Pacific students, a drop from 2017 when they were six times more likely to report daily smoking.

- Young New Zealanders (14- to 15-year olds) who had ever tried vaping more than tripled between 2012 and 2016, with 27.7% of young people having ever tried vaping in 2016. Just under 2% of Year 10 students reported using e-cigarettes daily in 2018.

- Data from the US and Canada indicates that ‘current e-cigarette use’ increased very rapidly between 2017 and 2018, associated with the introduction of high-nicotine ‘podvapes’ (Juul). This coincided with an overall increase in the use of all tobacco products in school children, indicating a reversal of the long-term trend of reducing smoking prevalence.

- There is strong evidence from international longitudinal studies that shows young people who use e-cigarettes are up to four times more likely to smoke tobacco within 12 months.

- Canadian and US longitudinal studies suggest that vaping may be expanding the youth nicotine use market by attracting low-risk youth who would otherwise be unlikely to initiate using cigarettes.

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