Study: Making access to vaping easier will save country billions

Author
Newstalk ZB ,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Thursday, 14 March 2019, 6:16p.m.
The switch could also increase the cumulative healthy years of the population. (Photo / Getty)

Health researchers say New Zealand could save $3.4 billion over the next decades if access to e-cigarettes gets easier.

The Otago University study also estimates if people stopped smoking and took up vaping instead, they would gain 236,000 healthy years cumulatively. 

Professor of Public Health at Otago University Nick Wilson told Larry Williams they built a model with 16 tobacco-related diseases in it in order to get these figures and compared smoking with vaping. 

"When we ran that model for the whole New Zealand population until everyone in it dies, those are the numbers that came up."

He says they are impressed by the impact of switching to vaping. 

While current research suggests vaping is a healthier option that smoking, it still has some harmful elements in it. 

"We actually included that harm, as vaping is still more dangerous than being a non-smoker, so we were able to capture some of that harm," Wilson says.

Vaping products have been legal in New Zealand for the last year, and Wilson is confident that the level of contaminants in the products will reduce over time. 

He hopes that the Government encourages more smokers to quit tobacco products. 

"We've got to protect young people and reduce young people amongst teenagers."

 

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