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Smok­ing is a waste of money Smok­ers pros­per by be­com­ing vapers

Vapers pros­per by quit­ting va­p­ing

favour of the prod­uct.

Hav­ing read Public Health Eng­land’s re­port on e-cig­a­rettes, I now share her be­lief that con­vert­ing New Zealand’s 600,000-odd smok­ers to vapers would be good for both their health, and their wal­lets.

I asked Rice to help me cost out the sav­ings that can be made by switch­ing from smok­ing to va­p­ing. Mak­ing the switch re­quires a cap­i­tal in­vest­ment.

The ‘‘bare min­i­mum’’ start up cost is $45 for the cheap­est e-cig­a­rette de­vice, which in­cludes a bat­tery, charger, and a bot­tle of e-liq­uid. That’s the cost of a cou­ple of pack­ets of low-end fags.

It’s not every­body’s ideal setup, says Rice, but it’s a start. A bet­ter e-cig­a­rette de­vice can be bought in a month or so us­ing the money saved by not hav­ing to buy cig­a­rettes any more.

A $160-a-month ‘‘light’’ (two packs a week) smok­ing habit, can be re­placed by a roughly $38-a-month va­p­ing habit, Rice es­ti­mates.

A ‘‘mod­er­ate’’ (four packs a week) $320-a-month smok­ing habit, can be re­placed by a $102-a-month va­p­ing habit.

Heavy smok­ers are likely to need larger, more ro­bust e-cig­a­rettes, and their ini­tial cap­i­tal in­vest­ment will be higher.

Yearly sav­ings, on Rice’s es­ti­mates, would go from $1500 for light smok­ers, to $5000 for heavy smok­ers.

E-cig­a­rettes don’t ap­peal to ev­ery­one, but New Zealand may soon see ‘‘heat not burn’’ tobacco de­vices, which, I am­told, are closer in taste to smok­ing.

They are the baby of Big Tobacco, but they do seem to be a lot health­ier than con­ven­tional cig­a­rettes.

I called Count­down to see if it plans to stock e-cig­a­rettes and e-liq­uid when they be­come fully le­gal, hope­fully later this year. It wouldn’t tell me, but it could hardly carry on sell­ing fags and not of­fer e-cig­a­rettes and e-liq­uids, could it? Su­per­mar­kets stock­ing e-cig­gies and e-juice would re­ally send them main­stream.

But while smok­ers can save by be­com­ing vapers, vapers can save by stop­ping va­p­ing, switch­ing first from nico­tine-heavy e-liq­uids to nico­tine-light ones, and fi­nally to nico­tine-free e-liq­uids.

Then they can bin their e-cig­a­rettes be­cause va­p­ing is a waste of money. Fresh air is bet­ter. And it’s free.

CHRIS SKEL­TON/FAIR­FAX NZ

These pretty lit­tle bot­tles are e-liq­uids. The num­bers tell you how much nico­tine they con­tain.

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