Maori children at great risk of being addicted to vaping / vaping becomes the new smokes


National Maori Authority calls for tighter regulations on Vaping as research shows children are at great risk of addiction


The Chair of the National Maori Authority, Matthew Tukaki, has called the Vaping in New Zealand “Youth Survey Findings” a blunt indication that there is a looming and significant health crisis.


“If we for one moment though that vaping was some sort of safer and healthier alternative to cigarettes then we are kidding ourselves. Replacing one addictive substance that causes significant disease and respiratory illness for another is not the answer and we must tighten controls to what remains a still unregulated market – the very fact that children are getting access to these addictive products at places like dairies is quite frankly appalling. Would you like a vape with those lollies? Seriously this needs to stop” Tukaki said


  • With over 19,000 respondents this survey is one of the largest youth vaping surveys conducted worldwide.

  • 27% of those surveyed reported vaping and 15% reported smoking traditional cigarettes in the past week.

  • 75% of those vaping, or 20% of total respondents, are vaping daily or several times a day, and the majority are vaping with high nicotine doses.

  • Over half of those vaping reported that they were vaping more frequently and at higher nicotine doses compared to last year.

  • 86% of students who were vaping more than once a day reported that they were addicted to vaping and 57% felt that it was having an adverse effect on their health.

  • The most common source of supply for students was from dairies.

“I speak to teachers and educators who are concerned that they are seeing younger and younger children taking up vaping and more so the stories that are emerging that some are even being bullied into handing over their vapes or even stealing the products for others” Tukaki said


“Then there are the parents who are equally concerned that their children are getting addicted to a substance that we know, through research, can be harmful to developing or compromised respiratory systems – the heartbreak of parents is happening all to often for a completely resolvable situation – and lets be clear; the marketing of these products targets the vulnerable and that includes Maori and Pasifika children.” Tukaki said


That is why the National Maori Authority is backing the calls of the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation on the following Tukaki said:


  • Regulations be introduced to limit the content of nicotine available in ENDS/vaping products sold in New Zealand to a maximum of 20mg (2%).

  • Raise the legal age to purchase ENDS/vape products to 21 years.

  • Ban in-front-of-store window advertising and product display by retailers.

  • Prevent the sale of vaping products within a one kilometre radius of any school by retailers.

  • Emphasis must be placed on Aotearoa educational campaigns aimed at youth, and focused on the health harms that vaping can cause.

“This needs to be an immediate piece of work because we have a responsibility to protect our children from the harm of addiction in all its forms – and let me be clear; the vaping industry is nothing more than a cowboy outfit profiting and making money on the health of our children – and I don’t care which way you swing that door – that’s the truth. We have a chance to get ahead of this as one of the primary lessons of what happened over decades of the tobacco industry killing our people with their cancer sticks” Tukaki said

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