A campaigner against smoking is calling for nicotine e-cigarettes to be legalised, and for cigarette taxes to be increased, to encourage smokers to switch to the alternative.
E-cigarettes emit vapours, and models that include nicotine are illegal in New Zealand.
A report from the United Kingdom's Health Service found e-cigarettes to be 95 percent less harmful than smoking.
It also revealed that the perception that they were a gateway to cigarette smoking among young people was wrong.
Professor Murray Laugesen of the University of Canterbury agreed with the report and said smokers should be encouraged to switch to e-cigarettes.
He said there was no evidence to indicate the chemicals in cigarettes which cause cancer were in the vapour from the e-cigarettes.