Researching safer, effective alternatives to smoking



Latest news:

2 Jan 2014

Murray Laugesen. Nicotine and Health – American Council on Science and Health, New York.

Of special interest to smoking cessation experts and policy makers.


This world-first publication (71 pages, 137 references) details


1 How nicotine affects your health

2 How smokeless affects your health

3 Electronic cigarettes.


For a free copy see and download.

For more details see


29 Nov 2013. Voluntary Health NZ standard for e-cigarettes.

Following testing of 9 brands available on the NZ market, the following two brands were successful in reaching the standard and announced to the winners, at the Gateway Conference on Electronic Cigarettes in Auckland on Oct 23:

1) Elusion Ego with clearomiser. 1st on lowest price, 2nd on nicotine per puff, 2nd on persuading smokers to switch.

2) Greensmoke with cartomiser. 1st on nicotine per puff, 1st on persuading smokers to switch.




Latest news:

For more policy topics, see:

For latest news on e-cigarettes:


14 Dec 2012. A world-first policy to reduce

excise on denicotinized cigarettes and thus reduce addiction NZ Med J.

Product research plans

2014 Cost of Smoking survey continues. With Professor R. Grace Dr Laugesen will continue to report on effect of e-cigarettes on future cigarette consumption.


Health New Zealand Ltd’s research quest is for safer product choices for smokers. See the company’s achievements and future plan:


2013: Celebrating 20 years in business

and 30 years in reducing smoking in NZ


1995-2014. Dr Laugesen, Health New Zealand, has authored over 40 peer-reviewed research papers, thanks to funders, co-researchers and reviewers.

2013 U of Auckland ASCEND trial of e-cigs completed. (co-investigator)

2012 Denicotinised cigarette policy to reduce addiction

2010 Research on the nicotine pyruvate cigarette substitute

2009 RYO cigarettes – less tobacco but more smoke.

2007-9 Research on (low) toxicity of e-cigarettes

2006- Research on Marlboro Ultrasmooth – reduced risk???


Policy research plans


2011-14: Health New Zealand aims to research policies capable of reducing smoking and phasing out cigarette and tobacco sales by 2020, in support of End Smoking NZ’s revised plan to produce four policies to reduce addictiveness and price in non-addictive cigarettes:


1. Results of increased tax on addictive cigarettes

2. Results of making denicotininsed cigs. available

3. Results of making nicotine e-cigarettes available

4 Results of increasing the tax on RYO tobacco.


Previous policy research

1995-03 Health New Zealand Ltd was founded in July 1995, published Smokefree E-news from 1997, supported ASH and Smokefree Coalition’s efforts, co-authored the most quoted research in aid of the 2003 law making workplaces smokefree:


2010 May 14: Oral submission to the Tobacco Inquiry of the Maori Affairs Select Committee in Christchurch on relevant company research results.


2010 9 April: E-cigarette clinical trial results.


March 2010: 6712 visits to this site, mainly for

information on e-cigarettes. 45% from USA, 17% from NZ.


October 2009: Dr Laugesen slide presentation on the electronic cigarette Oceania Tobacco Control Conference. Darwin. ElectronicCigsDarwinOct09.pdf

July 2009: Over 7000 visitors to this site, mainly to read or download Health NZ research on e-cigarettes, and mainly from USA, but many from NZ and a wide spread of other countries.

30 July 2009. FDA report – actually shows e-cigarettes much safer than conventional ones ecigarette.htm

26 June 2009. RYO cigarettes dangerous money-savers - Health NZ research coynews.htm

Health New Zealand Limited is a limited liability company, established in 1995, and registered under the NZ Companies Act 1993.

Address for couriers and post:

267 Memorial Av Burnside 8053

Christchurch, New Zealand.

Ph +64 (3) 358 9329 Cell +64 (27) 4 884 375



Disclaimer: Health NZ has no financial interest in any nicotine or tobacco product or business.

Business: Public good research, in particular:

        Researchers on nicotine and tobacco.

        Member, Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco.

        Advocacy: Safer, effective alternatives to smoking.

        Clinical trials and pharmacokinetic research

        Risk profile testing of alternatives to smoking products cigarettetesting.htm Alternatives.htm

        Policy analysis and advice;

        Consultancy, to reduce heart disease, cancer, and smoking.

Aim: To promote the health of New Zealanders

14 Sept 2014

Policy will drive users back to smoking tobacco, health campaigner warns.

By Matthew Theunissen, Herald on Sunday.

Ordering nicotine-based e-cigarette products off the shelves is "ridiculous", says a health official and respected anti-smoking campaigner.

Despite being illegal according to the Ministry of Health's rules, e-cigarettes containing nicotine have been widely available over the counter in Auckland.

But in the past few weeks, the ministry has dispatched smoke-free enforcement officers to inform retailers such sales are prohibited.

The devices, which contain flavoured "e-liquid" with or without nicotine, emit a smoke-like vapour.

One of the major e-cigarette retailers, Shosha, said on Thursday it would get rid of its stock either this week or next week.

Public health specialist Dr Murray Laugesen, who has been researching e-cigarettes since 2007, labelled the ministry's decision "ridiculous" and said it would drive people back to smoking tobacco. He said e-cigarettes were less harmful than traditional cigarettes, a view shared by the World Health Organisation.

"The ministry itself says half of combustible cigarette smokers will die from smoking so what is being set up is a ridiculous policy which enables people to keep on smoking something which is going to kill them. It's a crazy policy."

In the UK, 2.1 million smokers were using e-cigarettes and in the United States, more than $2billion was being spent on them each year.

Latest Ministry of Health data estimated there were 626,000 traditional cigarette smokers in the country. "Something is very wrong with the New Zealand policy, especially considering there's at least 8000 places in the country where you can buy combustible cigarettes."

Laugesen was surprised the matter had not become an election issue.

The ministry said there was not enough evidence to recommend e-cigarettes as an aid to quitting smoking. It would, however, be "assessing new evidence as it arises, but in the meantime smokers should continue to use approved smoking cessation aids, such as patches, lozenges, and gum".

That position was supported by a recent WHO report that stated that while they were likely to be less toxic than conventional cigarettes, e-cigarette use posed threats to adolescents and foetuses of pregnant mothers using the devices. E-cigarettes also increased the exposure of non-smokers and bystanders to nicotine and several toxicants.

The ministry said nicotine e-cigarette products could still be legally bought from overseas via the internet for personal use.

"They cannot be sold, or resold, in New Zealand because they are unapproved medicines."


August 2014

An Hertogen, Anita Killeen The burning issue of combustible tobacco: the inconvenient truth. NZ Law Review. 2014;(2)239-263.


The paper discusses the New Zealand government’s goal of a smoke-free New Zealand by 2025 and critically evaluates the existing tobacco control policies. It argues that the current approach, which focuses on expanding smoke-free environments and restricting advertising for tobacco products, is unable to achieve the government’s goal. Instead, the article assesses different “endgame” strategies that could achieve a smoke-free New Zealand, primarily by granting regulatory recognition to smokeless tobacco products. Despite these products posing less risk to public health than traditional combustible tobacco, they are regulated far more strictly, and even banned from sale in New Zealand. We argue that New Zealand’s regulatory priorities are in dire need of reassessment to protect New Zealanders against the curse of smoking-related illness and death.


July 2014

Another way to predict future cigarette behaviour. Predicting how many cigarettes people will buy as the price increases is another way to predict future behaviour of different groups in the population.

Grace RC, Kivell BM, Laugesen M. Predicting Decreases in Smoking with a Cigarette Purchase Task: Evidence from an Excise Tax Rise in New Zealand. Tobacco Control. published On-line First July 22, 2014 doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2014-0515942012.


Lancet 8 Sep 2013

E-cigarettes safe and effective

This world-leading Auckland NZ trial shows e-cigarettes definitely help people stop smoking, being at least as effective as nicotine patches, and causing no major adverse effects.


Bullen, C, Howe C, Laugesen M, McRobbie H, Parag V, Williman J, Walker N. Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet. Published Online September 8, 2013


Dr Laugesen and Health New Zealand Ltd is proud to have had a part in the planning and analysis of this major study, led by Prof Chris Bullen heading a large team at the National Institute of Health Innovation, University of Auckland.


Vaping a healthier way for NZ

11 July 2013

Government should open the way for e-cigarettes argues Murray Laugesen



Traffic: This website and End Smoking NZ combined: 10,000 to 13,000 visits per month

Research of the month: Bullen, et al. as above, on comparing an e-cigarette brand with the nicotine patch. Lancet, 8 Sept 2013 – see above.


27 February 2010: New Nicotine cigarette gives fast delivery of nicotine to the lung. Now published. For the full text report in Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, click here to see

Copying: You are welcome to copy information from this website provided is acknowledged as source. 2010

Dr Murray Laugesen

QSO for public services

WHO Tobacco or Health medallist



Managing director and public health physician

On leaving the Public Health Commission in 1995 Dr Laugesen founded Health New Zealand Ltd as his consultancy company. Dr Laugesen has been involved in the prevention of cancer, heart disease and smoking at national level since 1984. More



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