A report by a Kiwi thinktank has found that while the uptake of tobacco smoking in young people has declined considerably, there are still few ways for adults to kick the habit.
Janesa Jeram of The New Zealand Initiative, speaking this morning to TVNZ 1's Breakfast programme, said the government's announcement last week that they would legalise tobacco alternative products like nicotine-bearing vape liquids was encouraging.
"Nicotine by itself is not an overly harmful substance, say on par with coffee," Ms Jeram said.
"I think [non-combustion products] are a better alternative to cigarettes.
"Up until very recently there's been a regulatory grey area."
Her report suggested that while young people in New Zealand are steering away from smoking cigarettes, the number of avenues available to adults who wish to quit smoking is not on par with other countries.
Ms Jeram said New Zealand's target of becoming smoke-free by 2025 would be much more within grasp when non-combustion products were fully legalised.
The NZ Initiative’s members include British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco, and Philip Morris (NZ).
Ms Jeram says all of the Initiative’s reports are independent and she "can give 100 per cent assurance the final report is independent".
Akau'ola is the younger brother of former Wests Tigers and Panthers player Sitaleki, but is determined to make his mark in the 15-man game.
Maori Public Health boss Lance Norman told politicians today that 35 per cent of Maori still smoke, along with 25 per cent of Pasifika and 12-13 per cent of all other ethnicities.