• July 8, 2020

Vapor, not taxes, helps quitters

The imposition of higher excise taxes on tobacco products does not necessarily lower smoking rates, but substituting electronic cigarettes for traditional cigarettes does, according to a story in The Philippine Daily Inquirer quoting the representative of a pro-nicotine alliance.

Nancy Sutthoff, spokesperson for the International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organizations, was recently in the Philippines to address the first Summit on Harm Reduction, held at the Sulo Riviera Hotel in Quezon City.

Citing the case of her own country, New Zealand, Sutthoff said the government had increased tobacco excise by 10 percent every six months.

“Our smoking rate has yet to go down,” she said.

Sutthoff, who is also co-founder and co-director of the Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (Avca) in New Zealand, said Avca had launched the Vape It Forward program in 2017 to support smokers who wanted to quit smoking by switching to vaping.

Eighteen months after its launch, the VIF program had delivered an 88-percent success rate.