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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

Non-specialist shops

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.

Notification system

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.


Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill, June 2020

Vaping Facts. New Zealand government website

Posted by Colin Mendelsohn,

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2 Replies to “New Zealand leads the way with new vaping regulations”

Lorna Smith

Once again, New Zealand is showing that it is streets ahead of Australia when it comes to social justice issues. This is a social justice issue for many. I am a pensioner, I can not afford to buy cigarettes, I have been unable to cease smoking using any other method. How dare the government collect hundreds of millions of tax dollars from smokers then turn around and deny many the only chance of living a normal, healthy life. This government is short sighted, corrupt (caving in to the big pharma companies and the tobacco industry and the misguided and ignorant opinions of the Cancer Council)), I will be working to bring them down at the next election.


I wish the lawmakers in America were as smart as your parliament. You base your laws on facts and not hysteria. I am so afraid that soon I will have to return to smoking ciggerettes, here in America, because I won't be able to buy any vape products. Hmmm, I guess it's fashionable to die young…

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