General news

The Aotearoa New Zealand Government is contemplating allowing sales of oral nicotine and oral tobacco products as smoking cessation aids. These products include chewing tobacco, snus, and oral nicotine pouches. 

Dr Jude Ball and colleagues have identified several factors politicians should consider when assessing the impact these products could have. First, there are limited data on how effectively these products support smoking cessation. Second, New Zealanders already have access to Medsafe approved nicotine replacement therapy (including oral products such as gum and lozenges) for smoking cessation. Lastly, young people who vape face the risk of nicotine addiction; oral nicotine and oral tobacco products could increase youth nicotine addiction rates. Given marketers have already used social media to promote oral nicotine products, we urgently require policy that reflects the value these products might offer people who smoke while protecting young people from aggressive promotions. 

To find out more, take a look at our New Zealand Medical Journal editorial or our recent Public Health Communication Centre briefing.