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New Zealand Considers Subsidizing Vaping For Its Citizens

Here's some compelling news: federal legislators are pushing to make vaping more widespread throughout the country, going so far as suggesting that e-cigarettes be made available wherever tobacco is sold, and even proposing a government subsidy to make vaping products more affordable to consumers.

Too good to be true? Maybe for us, but earlier this week members of New Zealand's Māori party suggested just those measures as part of a push to move the island nation toward a smoke-free society by 2025.

"There seems to be some evidence that it might help smokers, certainly with smoking rates we've probably used a lot of the traditional tools as far as you can, and that's been quite successful," says Prime Minister Bill English in a report from New Zealand's Newshub.

"But there's still a hard core of longer-term smokers and we'd be open minded about anything that looks like it might be a bit of a solution. "

Does the leader of a free nation openly endorsing the idea sound good already? He's even got leading scientists in the country to back him up.

"Make sure that it's available wherever cigarettes are sold and when people go to buy their cigarettes they will have the choice, and they will have this other less harmful option there that they can choose," suggests Dr. Marewa Glover, associate professor of public health at Massey University. "People are smart, they will choose the less harmful one. Everyone practices harm reduction in some way all the time. We just need to have the product there when they go to buy their tobacco."

In all reality, the idea of subsidizing vapor products is a bit far-fetched, and the news report admits as much. Still, even if vaping laws are liberalized and the practice is actively promoted as a safer alternative to cigarettes, things should be looking bright for the health of Kiwis across their land.