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For New Zealand vaping advocates, the math is as simple as 1+1. 

It equals better national health.

A summary of a recent University of Melbourne study suggested if New Zealand health officials implement a less-rigid system for individuals to acquire nicotine-based vaping products, two things will become apparent. The first is overall public health will improve and the second will come in the form of declining health system expenditures.  

“Policymaking regarding e-cigarettes is challenging,” said Tony Blakely, a professor for the University of Melbourne and health advocate. “Nevertheless, our study points to cautious (liberalization) of access to e-cigarettes as the best way forward. 

“That policy implementation should not be in isolation but accompanied by other policies that will make health gain more likely.”  

Blakely served as the lead author of the research paper, which was published in Epidemiology. The research concluded if New Zealanders had easy access to vaping devices and products over traditional cigarettes, they could add an average of 19 more healthy days to their lives.    

Fiscally, New Zealand government officials could expect to save approximately $3.4 billion in health costs from fewer cases of diseases caused by high levels of tobacco in combustible cigarettes, the research said.  

The study stated countries like Australia, Singapore, and Thailand, who legislated different types of vaping bans, and New Zealand, which is beginning to loosen its regulations, should take steps to better emulate the liberal retail practices of the U.S. and United Kingdom.  

The math for improved national health also works for Australian vaping advocates and the country’s health officials could expect a national health savings of $3.27 billion, the study added.  

“New Zealand and Australia are reasonably similar in disease and smoking rates,” Blakely said. “The New Zealand best estimate of health gain is equivalent to 19 days of healthy life per person alive over the remainder of their lives – a measure we can probably transport across the Tasman.”  

National health can be as simple as 1+1.