Cigs v Vapes v Fresh Air

The Tribune (NZ) - - COMMUNITY COOKBOOK - ROB STOCK rob.stock@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz

In just two years Nell Rice saved $5000 by switch­ing from smok­ing con­ven­tional cig­a­rettes to va­p­ing.

Va­p­ing is the term used for puff­ing away on e-cig­a­rettes, which aren’t cig­a­rettes at all. They are elec­tronic de­vices that de­liver nico­tine in a vapour.

There’s no smoke with e-cig­a­rettes, so vapers aren’t ex­posed to the tox­ins that cause 95 per cent of smok­ing-re­lated dis­eases.

Va­p­ing of­fers big health gains, but most peo­ple I know who’ve quit smok­ing were mo­ti­vated to by money.

There is noth­ing like a fa­gad­dic­tion to burn your way through cash.

Imag­ine adding $2500 a year to your Ki­wiSaver ac­count in­stead of smok­ing it!

Of course, if you aren’t go­ing to die be­fore your time from smok­ing-in­duced can­cer, you’ll need a de­cent re­tire­ment nest-egg.

Rice works for Cos­mic, the coun­try’s largest e-cig­a­rette re­tailer, so she’s clearly bi­ased in

GOLDEN RULES

❚ 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

‘‘Imag­ine adding $2500 a year to your Ki­wiSaver ac­count in­stead of smok­ing it!’’

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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