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Surging interest in vaping among young New Zealanders may undermine a government crackdown on the tobacco industry and its aim to get people to kick the habit, healthcare and anti-tobacco experts said on Friday (Dec 10).

New Zealand plans to ban young people from ever buying cigarettes in their lifetime in one of the world's toughest crackdowns on the tobacco industry, arguing that other efforts to stamp out smoking were taking too long. The new regulations, however, do not cover vaping, which it said was much less harmful than smoking and can help some people to quit smoking.