'I hate it': Caller's vaping addiction started when he was 17 years old

Danny Watson 01/11/2021

LISTEN: A new study has found more than a quarter of New Zealand teenagers are regularly vaping.

The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation New Zealand (ARFNZ) studied 19000 high school students and found that more teenagers are vaping more often than compared to a previous study two years ago.

26 percent of teens surveyed said they had vaped in the past week and nearly 20 percent were vaping daily or more. Many of them recorded high-nicotine doses.

A similar survey in 2019 found just 6 percent were vaping weekly or more often.

The uptake in teenagers vaping has led to a call for law changes that would include a ban on vape sales within 1 kilometre of schools and increasing the age to buy them from 18 to 21.

22 year old Matt, a Magic Talk caller, says he has been vaping since high school and "hates" the habit.

"I think the problem is the nicotine levels are so much higher than what's in a cigarette," he said.

Matt told Magic Talk his vape device "never leaves" his hand or pocket.

"I'm an all-day vaper," he said.

He's been vaping since he was 17 and discourages other teenagers from trying it.

"I actually hate it. I think it's the worst thing," he told Magic Talk.

"There needs to be more education that it's not necessarily a cool trendy thing to do."

From his experience, retailers were selling vape devices to people under 18 - despite having restricted sale signs - but weren't enforced by law until recently, Matt said.

"There are still shady dairies you can go to, you can still ask your friends [to be them]," he told Magic Talk.

Matt supports raising the age from 18 to 21, instead of increasing tax.

Listen to the full interview with Matt above.

Magic Talk | Afternoons with Danny Watson, weekdays from 12pm.

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