“New findings from US government scientists show that the moral panic around vaping is dangerously anti-science”, says ACT’s Deputy Leader Beth Houlbrooke.
“For months we’ve heard that vaping is a health crisis that will endanger our children, with commentators pointing to people getting sick and even dying in the US.
“But the US government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has now identified that vitamin E from black market THC oil was the culprit behind the outbreak.
Vitamin E is a cheap, colourless and odourless additive used on the cannabis black market designed to stretch the amount of THC in vape cartridges. Vitamin E from black market THC was found in every one of the 29 lung samples taken from people sickened in the outbreak. No other potential toxins were detected.
Vitamin E is not found in any commercial nicotine e-liquid.
“These findings show that the recent commentary on vaping in New Zealand is seriously anti-scientific.
“It would be nuts to ban commercial nicotine e-liquid because a few people in the US decided to water down black market THC oil.
“If the Labour Government, supported by National, bans flavours and generally cracks down on vaping, people will attempt to make their own e-liquids at home, creating a black market and massive health risks.
“We need a serious debate, based on science rather than speculation, about how to properly regulate vaping in a way that protects children but allows smokers to quit the habit.
“In the absence of such a debate, purveyors of moral panic will scaremonger and drive rational arguments from the public square at a time when the Government is about to bring vaping legislation to Parliament.
“That really will create a health crisis.”