Ministry documents, prepared for a meeting with quit smoking providers and advocacy groups last month, said a "business as usual approach" to encouraging people to quit would no longer work. A greater focus was needed on risky groups, such as pregnant women and the mentally ill, and groups that still had stubbornly high smoking rates, such as Maori and Pacific people.
"More needs to be done ... to achieve that 2025 goal," the documents say.
NZ currently spends in excess of $10M a year on quit smoking campaigns. And we are failing...
E-cigs in NZ are a comparatively new concept and they will continue to be surrounded by levels of controversy for some time. But this groundbreaking "new" product is actually a genuine alternative to smoking.
The NZ e-cig market is growing day by day and many people are using ecigarettes as a way to stop smoking... And loving the freedom that comes from vaping instead of smoking. If we spent the same money on introducing this alternative to the smokers of our country instead of thrashing the old horse we might actually be able to reinstate the smoke free 2025 goal.
What we get with ex-smoking vapers is a positive feeling of relief, not a negative view of having to give something up. They immediately feel successful in their change, rather than feeling like they have to will their way through it for months to get there. The whole process is nice, new, refreshing and fun. The list goes on.
E-cigarettes create a positive move and that is taken on by the smoker. The smoker then buys in to the relief, which drives the program. Pretty much all ex-smoking vapers tell their friends and family how awesome it is. And there is the "viral" or "chain reaction" that the Quit Smoking campaign needs.
The NZ vaping market is growing despite the controversy and condemnation. Imagine what the industry could do if it had a couple of million injected into it. It is important in business to be dynamic, to change with the times, to take on new programs as they come to light. We need to take this opportunity and use the money that is being wasted on a failure - to create standards, regulations and laws.
Please share if you agree that the NZ e-cig industry should be a part of the NZ Smokefree 2025 campaign.