COMMENT:

I can't tell you how relieved I am to hear, at last, this Government is going to move on vaping. We have missed the boat. We have been hopelessly slow.

The Government, of course, is famous for doing nothing fast, if at all.

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But on vaping, they have been dangerously lax. Even America, the Home of the Free and backer of the outspoken and libertarian, has seen the dangers and has moved already to start to ban some players and substances.

The point is this: yes, allegedly, it helps smokers of tobacco kick the habit. But what's been lost, either conveniently or not, is that kids have taken to it, with alacrity.

And these are kids who have never smoked. And, because of that, the unscrupulous have leapt on the trend and milked it for all it's worth.

PM Jacinda Ardern takes on Mike Hosking's comments on vaping.

Juul in the States has been the target of much opprobrium over their stance on marketing towards kids. The clue is in the stats: many kids who vape haven't smoked tobacco, and huge percentages of kids have vaped, and not just 17-year-olds but 13-year-olds.

Being in the midst of having five kids all in their teenage years, vaping is commonplace, and most kids do it because it's cool.

They defend it because the news feeds they rely on for their version of what the world is thinking is so skewed. Any mention of danger never gets to their senses outside the odd parent asking whether they're insane, and do they know anything about the health effects of what they're taking part in?

The irony of ironies is that most of these kids don't smoke, have never smoked and think smoking is disgusting. They are the living embodiment of what we started all those years ago around tobacco. It has worked - we have put them off it.

We have managed as a society to - if not totally, certainly in a major way - to make smoking a minority activity. And yet the same tactics - the very same marketing BS - is being used around vaping.

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In the 50s and 60s, movie stars smoked, smoking was on telly, smoking was advertised, smoking was a legitimate product.

Fast forward 50 years - sucked in good - we're repeating the same madness without enough people joining the dots. It's almost as though we are pre-programmed to damage ourselves. It's just the mechanism of choice changes per generation.

Mike Hosking. File photo / supplied
Mike Hosking. File photo / supplied

The great question out of what the Government has announced - given none of it is revolutionary, it's nothing more than others have done - so what the hell took them so long? There is nothing here they could not have done in a half-hour meeting, two and a half years ago.

It seems to defy logic and belief that we want to be smoke-free, yet not vape free. We pile billions into health yet passively, if not actively, watch our kids repeat generational mistakes.

If you're being generous, then at least we have movement. But if the energy and enthusiasm to get this far is how we are moving forward, vaping will be like smoking. We were going to be smoke-free in four and a bit years, you think that's actually gong to happen?

The talk outweighs the results, big time.