New Zealand leads the way with new vaping regulations
Posted on June 2, 2020
NEW ZEALAND Parliament is moving forward with sensible, balanced vaping regulations designed to help adult smokers switch to vaping while restricting access to young people.
The proposed regulations were released by the Health Committee today and will be presented to Parliament for consideration.
The regulations acknowledge that vaping products have lower health risks than smoking. They are designed to facilitate the uptake of vaping and to ensure safer, quality vaping products. Vaping will be regulated differently to tobacco.
This sensible approach is quite the opposite of the Australia’s approach to vaping.
In Australia, authorities remain unconvinced of the benefits of vaping. Australian laws inappropriately regulate vaping products as tobacco products and effectively ban them
The proposed regulations are not perfect though. Some restrictions are based on excessive caution about youth vaping. However, a recent New Zealand study of 14-15 year olds found that regular youth vaping was rare and mainly confined to current smokers.
- The Health Committee recommended a total ban on all advertising of vaping products to avoid exposure to young people. A more nuanced approach would have been better.
- Restrictions on flavour sales (below) are also a response to concerns about youth uptake but will reduce access for vapers to their preferred e-liquids.
Specialist vape shops
Vape shops will be able to provide a full service to customers. Vaping products and information can be displayed and staff can give advice and recommendations to customers.
Vape shops can sell a full range of flavours and people over 18 years can vape on the premises
General stores and other businesses which do not specialise in vaping can sell vaping products but are restricted to tobacco, mint, menthol flavours only. This precaution is to reduce access to young people. The same applies to online-only vape retailers ie websites without a bricks and mortar store.
To ensure the safety of vaping products, manufacturers and importers need to notify the Ministry of Health prior to release of each product. All products details will be stored in a database allowing faulty or unsafe products to be recalled if needed.
The proposed New Zealand regulations set a shining example for Australian regulators and the Health Committee is to be congratulated.
Posted by Colin Mendelsohn, firstname.lastname@example.org