11 Nov 2020

Law banning vape advertising and sales to under 18s comes into effect

6:43 am on 11 November 2020

The Cancer Society is happy that marketing of vapes to young people and non-smokers will cease today, thanks to new laws coming into force.

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File image. Photo: 123RF

From today it will be illegal to sell the vapes to under 18s and advertising and sponsorship of vaping products will be banned altogether.

Vaping will also be banned in legislated smoke free areas.

Certain flavours will be phased out, except at specialist retailers over the next 15 months.

Cancer Society advocacy and wellbeing manager Shayne Nahu said the changes would make a big difference.

"We are seeing promotions at events that were really targeting young people, a number of the promotions are coming across as [if] they are cool vibrant products, almost like a lifestyle choice, which is not what they're about, they're there to help smokers stop."

They should not be perceived as a recreational choice, Nahu said.

The regulations would be a relief to school principals, teachers and parents who had been looking for regulation, he said.

"We've had two years without regulation and that has allowed the tobacco industry to get a foothold on the messaging around vaping.

"Vaping is not harmless, these laws will play a vital part in protecting children and non-smokers from a highly addictive product they simply don't need, while supporting people who smoke to switch and quit."

The law change was a good step, but more needed to be done about tobacco products, Nahu said.

"We are waiting on a smoke-free action plan from the government, that is going to be great and we are expecting to see some bold initiatives in there so we can get to smoke-free 2025 for a healthier New Zealand/Aotearoa."

The Cancer Society looked forward to the day when all tobacco products were only available from specialist R18 shops, he said.

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