6 Aug 2020

Bill restricting vaping sales and use in public passes final reading

9:30 am on 6 August 2020

Legislation regulating vaping products and heated tobacco devices has passed the final hurdle in Parliament.

Man vaping while driving a car is seen in Gdansk, Poland on 9 July 2019

Photo: AFP

The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill introduces a range of regulations that will be phased in over the next two years.

From November, prohibitions will be in place on vaping in the workplace, advertising and sponsorships related to vaping products, and the sale of vaping products and toy products to those under 18 years old.

Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa said the bill strikes the right balance "between helping smokers quit by offering regulated vaping as an alternative, while discouraging children and young people from taking it up".

"We know vaping is not without risks but it is 95 percent less harmful than cigarette smoking. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in this country and contributes to the death of an average 5000 New Zealanders every year," she said.

The bill also limits generic retailers such as dairies, service stations and supermarkets to selling only tobacco, mint and menthol flavoured vaping products, but specialist vape retailers will be able to sell any flavours from their shops and websites.

Salesa said the government also recognised that many smokers needed support and advice to move to less harmful alternatives.

"So the bill allows for the provision of information and advice for those wishing to switch from smoking to vaping," Salesa said.

Read more about vaping here:

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs