News coverage hinders Smoke-free, says vaping boss
“It’s disappointing that news out of the United States of hospitalisations linked to illegal street drugs is somehow
seen as relevant to the New Zealand vaping scene,” says Ben Pryor, Director of Alt New Zealand – the largest Kiwi-owned
His comments come as it now becomes clearer that the products which reportedly caused at least 24 Americans to be
hospitalised in the past month for respiratory issues and lung damage are in fact highly likely to contain THC or
“This story is of no consequence to New Zealand. Nonetheless, we’re increasingly seeing a real push to try to trash and
negatively link vaping. Elevating such random unsubstantiated stories just hinders, not helps, New Zealand’s Smoke Free
Mr Pryor says vaping is playing such a positive role in so many Kiwis’ lives. The local vaping industry continues to act
responsibly, New Zealand’s smoking rates are falling, and just recently the Government launched a ‘vape-to-quit-smoking’
public information campaign.
The vaping entrepreneur says by picking and choosing negative international news stories, it’s not surprising that the
likes of city and district councillors are now running around trying to ban vaping.
“This demonisation of vaping ignores the fact that it’s 95% safer than cigarettes and is the most effective smoking
cessation tool we have. Running unrelated and negative stories only throws doubt into local smokers’ minds that they
should make the switch. In fact, this kind of click-bait coverage is really only helping New Zealand smokers to keep
He says if vaping is as bad as some try to make out, then why do the Ministry of Health, Health Promotion Agency, health
pressure group ASH, Quitline New Zealand, and public health leader Hapai Te Hauora all agree that vaping has substantial
“In the next few months Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa will be introducing the Smoke-free Environments (Vaping)
Amendment Bill into Parliament. We are all for sound and solid industry regulation. However, we also want the debate to
be based on evidence, not emotion driven by isolated and irrelevant click-bait stories.
“Vaping has helped so many Kiwi smokers already, and it can help so many more if we stick to the facts and remember that
tobacco is the enemy here. We will never become a tobacco-free country, if the only really viable and healthier
alternative keeps being shunned in the mainstream media,” says Ben Pryor.