A Māori health academic has accused some Aotearoa (New Zealand) health researchers and officials of spreading false negative information about electronic cigarettes, according to a story by Andrew McRae for Radio New Zealand.
Marewa Glover, an associate professor of Massey University, was quoted as saying that these false claims were putting people off using electronic cigarettes, which had the potential to help many people quit smoking.
Officially, the importation and sale of nicotine e-liquids is banned in Aotearoa, though it is possible for individuals to buy them online from overseas.
Glover said millions of people in Germany, the UK and the US had switched to vaping. This was a consumer-driven movement in which consumers were discovering electronic cigarettes without government or public health support. They were finding that these products worked and they were passing this information to other smokers.
Glover said it was a travesty that health professionals were not allowed and were not provided with the tools to support smokers in using vapour products to quit their habit.
She is calling for official recognition of vapor products as a way to help Māori quit smoking.
She pointed out that Māori were being disadvantaged because to buy e-liquids required credit facilities, access to a computer and knowledge about buying online.
The latest Ministry of Health figures on smoking show that about four in 10 Māori adults are smokers.