• April 6, 2020

Report: No Support for Youth Vaping Epidemic in New Zealand

Cigarette use continues to fall among New Zealand teenagers, and vaping is not being taken up by non-smoking youth, reports Scoop, citing new research.

University of Auckland researchers assessed data from a survey of 27,083 students aged 14 and 15. They found only 0.8 percent were daily vapers who’d never smoked before, with just 3.1 percent of all respondents saying they vaped daily, and 37.3 percent said they’d tried it.

“Our findings do not support the notion of a so-called vaping epidemic in New Zealand or a large youth population dependent on vaping—a finding consistent with the scarce international evidence,” the researchers said.

New Zealand government officials have indicated they want to restrict marketing and ban certain flavors.

“We’re asking the government to closely review the survey’s findings before it starts meddling with adult smokers’ best chance of quitting cigarettes for good,” said Ben Pryor, spokesperson for the Vaping Trade Association of New Zealand (VTANZ).

“Vaping needs quality manufacturing standards, clear advertising guidelines, and strict R18 enforcement. However, prohibiting flavors won’t make any difference to youth vaping rates. There remains no evidence, here or overseas, that flavors lead to youth vaping and vaping leads to smoking. This latest ASH survey completely reinforces that,” said Pryor.