The government has announced plans to regulate vaping and smokeless tobacco products, banning them in bars, restaurants and workplaces.
There will also be changes to the way vaping products are displayed in retail stores, making it more like the retail advertising of tobacco products.
The Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 (SFEA) will be amended next year, Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa announced today.
She said the government supported New Zealander smokers' efforts to be healthier by switching to safer products, but also wanted to protect people who did not smoke.
"Vaping is a significantly less harmful alternative to smoking and it has been used as an effective tool to quit smoking.
"However, it is not completely risk-free and that's why we need to make it as safe as possible and protect young people from taking it up. Vaping is also cheaper and this is important because people on low incomes have some of the highest smoking rates.
She said the public will have a say in the plan, with a select committee that will call for submissions next year.
The plan would:
- continue to make vaping products available for adults who smoke, whilst protecting those who don't smoke, especially young people
- clarift that nicotine vaping liquid is covered by the Smokefree Environments Act, and extends coverage to include nicotine-free vaping liquid, and vaping and smokeless tobacco product devices and components
- enable product safety requirements to be set for vaping and smokeless tobacco products
- implement a product notification system to support action when concerns arise with a product
- make clear where you can and cannot vape, for example not being allowed to vape at schools and other indoor workplaces, such as bars, cafes and restaurants
- allow vaping in specialist R18 retail outlets