Unfortunately New Zealanders are not allowed to give advice on quitting with electronic cigarettes.
“Because no e-cigarette has been approved by Medsafe as a cessation aid”…
There are many reasons as to why no e-cigarettes have gone through that process (or have even been submitted), one reason that springs to mind is the fact that the sign off process is so expensive that pretty much only the guys like Big Tobacco and Big Pharma could afford to put up the cash. The vaping industry is run by people – not giant entities, I don’t know any NZ vape vendor who is ‘livin it large’ or who could put up the money required to submit their range.
So that leaves the good old Kiwi smoker who wants to give it a try pretty much blinded to the potential benefits. Most people are getting ½ bits of information from all over the show and much of the time the advice they get is actually inaccurate.
There is now a substantial amount of information available which shows the many benefits of vaping instead of smoking. For those who haven’t see it; Public Health England recently released a report that showed electronic cigarettes to be a whopping 95% less harmful than smoking.
Information on electronic cigarettes is in abundance now, and yet the NZ public are finding it hard to get information on e-cigs and the opportunities they create.
We as New Zealanders have a few basic rights when it comes to healthcare and the info that should be shared with us. We have the right to know if there is a product that can be helpful to us. Which brings me to the question that has been burning for a while:
IS THE SUPPRESSION OF INFO AROUND E-CIGARETTES BREAKING MY RIGHTS?
Here are a few lines from the NZ Code of Health and Disability Services – Consumers Rights, that I think could show that we are being failed on:
Right 4 (4)
* “Every consumer has the right to have services provided in a manner that minimises the potential harm to, and optimises the quality of life of that consumer”.
Right 4 (5)
* “Every consumer has the right to co-operation among providers to ensure quality and continuity of services”.
Right 6 (1)
* “Every consumer has the right to the information that a reasonable consumer, in that consumer’s circumstances, would expect to receive, including –
** (b) an explanation of the options available, including an assessment of the expected risks, side effects, benefits, and costs of each option”
Now I am no Lawyer, or Doctor and I didn’t graduate from University, so I am calling on help from someone who might be able to give some input here. If you are in a position to look into this further please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org (or click here), I would be very keen to look into whether or not our rights are being followed.
For those who are not in a position to offer direct assistance around these rights, you can still be very helpful by sharing this post! You might know someone who can help, or they might know someone who can help, and so on.
When it comes to electronic cigarettes I do NOT believe that we as New Zealanders are seeing a system that offers us information based on healthcare provider co-operation. We are not being given access to a product that has proven itself and we are not having the depths of the benefits explained to us… I am even being wary of how I write this message so I don’t run into trouble should someone decide to complain.
NZ should have easier access to nicotine based e-cigarette products, but instead the only way we can legally get local supply of nicotine is through buying cigarettes (proven to kill and to be far far riskier than e-cigarettes) or to be prescribed patches etc which fail far too many of its users. To me, that is failing our people!