Ashburton could become the first place in the South Island where vaping is banned in smokefree areas.
Ashburton District Council's bylaw subcommittee is recommending changing the town's smokefree policy to include vape products.
A report discussed by the committee today noted the Ministry of Health's stance on vaping, which carries less risk than smoking cigarettes and is thought to help people quit smoking.
But the report also noted plans for JUUL, a major US vaping provider, to expand into the New Zealand market by the end of the year.
JUUL products contain three times more nicotine than other e-cigarettes and have been popular with young people in the US.
Read more with Guyon Espiner's Smoke and Mirrors series exploring e-cigarettes and vaping in New Zealand:
- Big Tobacco targeting Māori with e-cigarettes
- Exclusive: Youth addiction worry as high-nicotine vape JUUL to hit NZ
Currently there are no mandatory product safety requirements for e-cigarettes in New Zealand, meaning consumers have no way of knowing exactly what is in the vapours they inhale.
The government is now moving to liberalise the whole of the e-cigarette and vaping market, with legislation to be introduced to Parliament later this year, in its drive to make the country smoke-free by 2025.
The new legislation will allow for safety standards to be introduced and also put vaping and smokeless tobacco products on a similar footing to cigarettes as to where they can be used and how they are advertised.
The Cabinet paper says there are concerns vaping may be a gateway to smoking but that there is "no robust evidence" of this and that most young people who vape are already daily smokers or ex-smokers.