New Zealand passes legislation to make vaping widely available
Posted on August 6, 2020
THE NEW ZEALAND PARLIAMENT passed groundbreaking legislation yesterday to regulate vaping products, leaving Australia increasingly out of touch with other western countries.
According to Associate Health Minister, Jenny Salesa, “The Bill strikes a balance between helping smokers quit by offering regulated vaping as an alternative, while discouraging children and young people from taking it up".
The Bill ensures that nicotine vaporisers and nicotine liquid will be available as consumer products to help smokers quit and will be widely accessible in supermarkets, petrol stations, general stores and vape shops
While vaping is not without risks, the Minister acknowledged it is 95 per cent less harmful than cigarette smoking, something many Australian experts struggle to accept, in spite of the strong science supporting that assessment.
Nicotine vaping products are not strictly regulated like tobacco products (as in Australia) but according to the true level of risk of the products.
The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Vaping Amendment Bill will come into effect in three months' time, in November 2020.
The new law will:
- Ban the sale of vaping products to those under the age of 18
- Prohibit advertising the products and encouraging people to buy them in-store
- Limit the sale of all flavours to vape stores, including online retailers, with shops like dairies (general stores), supermarkets and petrol stations restricted to mint, menthol and tobacco
- Allow speciality vape stores to continue offering loyalty points and discounts
- Ban vaping in cars with children.
- Enable all retailers to display products in-store
- Provide a framework for regulations to be set where people are allowed to vape in or outside premises
- Introduce a safety system which would allow the Ministry of Health to recall products, suspend them and issue warnings
The legislation is not perfect. The blanket ban on advertising is over-restrictive and reduces the opportunity to promote the safer alternative to smokers. Restricting the sale of flavours except for vape shops will also reduce access.
However, as the Minister says it will save thousands of lives and move New Zealand to a smokefree future faster than ever.
Posted by Colin Mendelsohn, firstname.lastname@example.org