Clive Bates Post: More heat than light - new US statistics on youth vaping provide no basis for FDA policy

Clive Bates is one of the leading #harmreduction advocates and his website is well worth reading to gain insights into #vaping policy issues.

Here’s his latest post - More heat than light - new US statistics on youth vaping provide no basis for FDA policy

Clive Bates calls for the FDA/CDC to release the following information without delay:

Full frequency distribution for e-cigarette use -including daily use

  1. Trend in combustible tobacco use

  2. Smoking / and tobacco use status of e-cigarette users – especially regular and daily users

  3. Clear information on flavour use, covering tobacco, menthol/mint, and other flavours – recognising that users may try several flavours in a month

  4. Use of nicotine-free liquids, nicotine or other psychoactive substances in e-cigarettes if this data is collected

FDA/CDC appear to have chosen exactly and only the data needed to promote their the ‘epidemic’ narrative. At the same time, they have withheld any data that might be used to question it or interpret it with more subtlety.  Americans have been let down by this approach to data and evidence-based policy-making.

Australian and New Zealand Psychiatrists endorse Vaping

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) supports the availability of vaping devices with nicotine as consumer products for smokers who are unable or unwilling to quit.

Key messages

  • People living with mental illness are more likely to smoke tobacco and smoke more heavily than the general population. This is the leading cause of the poorer health and mortality outcomes suffered by this group.

  • Tobacco harm reduction is an essential component of any framework that aims to improve health outcomes for people who smoke tobacco.

  • Tobacco smokers should have ready access to a broad range of harm reduction and smoking cessation tools.

  • Smoking cessation rates are lower for people living with mental illness. Tobacco harm reduction strategies may therefore provide particular benefits for this population group.

  • E-cigarettes and vaporisers may provide a less harmful way to deliver nicotine to those who are unable or unwilling to stop smoking tobacco. However, there are no long-term studies recording the magnitude of the effects of long-term vapour inhalation on people’s health.

  • Further research is required to ascertain the effectiveness of e-cigarettes and vaporisers as tools for smoking cessation and whether they may provide a novel route into smoking initiation. This does not justify withholding what is, on the current evidence, a lower-risk product from existing smokers while such data is collected

See The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) latest Position Statement here

No Fire, No Smoke – the Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction 2018 - Well worth a read

The New Zealand Vaping Alliance is proud to share the Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction Report. It was written and edited by Harry Shapiro. Published by Knowledge-Action-Change, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5BY
© Knowledge-Action-Change 2018

The Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction report maps for the first time the global, regional and national availability and use of SNP, the regulatory responses to these products, and the public health potential of tobacco harm reduction.

The advent of SNP opens up the possibility of a major advance in global public health, helping to bring about the UN goal of reducing non-communicable diseases by a third by 2030 and, moreover, at no cost to governments.

Latest Ministry of Health position on Vaping and smokeless tobacco

Ministry of Health position statement – Vaping products

Key Messages

  • The best thing smokers can do for their health is to quit smoking for good

  • Vaping products are intended for smokers only

  • The Ministry believes vaping products could disrupt inequities and contribute to Smokefree 2025

  • The evidence on vaping products indicates they carry much less risk than smoking cigarettes but are not risk free

  • The Cochrane Review found that vaping products can help people to quit smoking, but acknowledges that the evidence is weak due to little data

  • Smokers who have tried other methods of quitting without success could be encouraged to try vaping products to stop smoking. Stop smoking services should support smokers using vaping products to quit

  • There is no international evidence that vaping products are undermining the long-term decline in cigarette smoking among adults and youth, and may in fact be contributing to it

  • Despite some experimentation with vaping products among never smokers, vaping products are attracting very few people who have never smoked into regular vaping product use

  • When used as intended, vaping products pose no risk of nicotine poisoning to users, but e-liquids should be in child resistant packaging

  • The Ministry of Health is identifying safety standards for vaping products in New Zealand. In the meantime, vapers should buy their products from a reputable source like specialist retailers.

Regulation of e-cigarettes and emerging tobacco and nicotine-delivery products

Here’s a link to the Ministry of Health’s Regulatory Impact Statement - Regulation of e-cigarettes and emerging tobacco and nicotine-delivery products.

It provides an analysis of options to regulate e‑cigarettes and e‑liquid as consumer products, as well as an analysis of high-level options for the regulation of emerging tobacco and nicotine-delivery products.

It was commissioned by the Associate Minister of Health, who is responsible for the tobacco control portfolio. The current Associate Minister of Health is Hon Jenny Salesa. You can email her here

Ministry of Health Calls for Nominations for Electronic Cigarette Technical Expert Advisory Group


[From the Ministry of Health media release -]


The Government intends to introduce an electronic cigarette regulatory scheme. The Ministry of Health is seeking nominations for members of the Technical Expert Advisory Group, Electronic Cigarette Product Safety.

This group will provide advice on the technical aspects of the development of the regulatory scheme, such as appropriate minimum quality and safety standards in the New Zealand context. These standards include manufacturing, ingredients, labelling and packaging.

We are looking for nominees who have:

  • an understanding of the international market for alternative tobacco and nicotine-delivery products
  • an understanding of the e-cigarette and e-liquid market in New Zealand
  • an understanding of the manufacture, importation, and/or retail sale of e-cigarettes and e-liquid
  • knowledge of regulatory developments for e-cigarettes and e-liquid internationally
  • knowledge of the risks and benefits associated with the use of e-cigarettes
  • a consumer perspective on the use of e-cigarettes.

Download the Technical Expert Advisory Group Terms of Reference (Word, 35 KB)

Please forward nominations to

Nominations close 5pm, Friday 9 June 2017. Please include the nominee’s name and occupation, contact details, and curriculum vitae. The names of two referees should also be provided.


MEDIA RELEASE: For Immediate Release


29 March 2017




Today’s announcement by the New Zealand Associate Minister of Health, Hon Nicky Wagner that the sale of nicotine e-cigarettes and e-liquids will be made legal is welcomed by vapers around the world.


“This is fantastic news and while the Government is taking a cautious approach and introducing various controls, it certainly reinforces the view that vaping is safer than smoking, said Mr QJ Satchell, President of New Zealand Vaping Alliance.


“Today New Zealand stepped up on the global stage and became a leader in recognising harm-reduction over a closed-minded approach of hoping e-cigarettes would go away,” said Mr Satchell.


“We have been a strong and consistent voice in the debate on vaping, encouraging the Government to legalise a product that tens of thousands of Kiwis enjoy and use to stop smoking cigarettes. Now retailers have confidence that they will no longer be breaking a law that was unenforceable.”


The New Zealand Government is to be congratulated for today’s announcement and with its approach to nicotine e-cigarettes.





For Immediate Release - 23 November 2016





The New Zealand Vaping Community has helicoptered into Kaikoura much needed e-cigarettes and e-liquid supplies for vapers suffering the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and its aftershocks.


“A rallying cry went out to the major players in the New Zealand vaping community asking for support and a few of the lads managed to scrape together a relief package, including 100 e-cigarette starter kits and e-liquids,” said QJ Satchell, President of the New Zealand Vaping Alliance.


“We all know the stress is a significant trigger for smokers, so to hear that many smokers are now facing out-of-stocks of tobacco products in Kaikoura at a time their lives are in such disarray, made the decision to help them pretty easy,” said Mr Satchell.


“One company that supplied product was who said their motivation has always been to help smokers get off tobacco, and it seemed only natural that we find a way to get some e-cigarettes and e-liquids to those in need.


“The last few years has shown me that the New Zealand vaping community is always happy to help other vapers and smokers. This is a great community that I am proud to be a part of, as are the other suppliers who have very generously donated to this initiative,” said Mr Satchell.


The supplies are being flown in by helicopter by the team Te Runga o Ngai Tahu.