“Landmark” vaping bill passes final reading
A bill to regulate vaping passed in parliament is being touted as “landmark legislation”.
Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa says the bill puts New Zealand on track to saving thousands of lives and having a smokefree generation sooner rather than later.
The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill regulates vaping products and heated tobacco devices.
Now the bill has been passed, there are calls for more work to be done.
The Vaping Trade Association of New Zealand says it’s essential the industry now has the opportunity to work with the Ministry of Health to provide expert input on the regulations.
“There has long been concern from many in the community, including parents, schools and health experts about vaping products and e-cigarettes being unregulated in New Zealand, something that is at odds with many other countries,” says 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 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.
“It has been a complex Bill to develop, but I believe we have arrived at an elegant solution. It ensures vaping products are still available to smokers who want to quit by switching to a less harmful alternative but also ensures they cannot be sold or marketed to children,” says Salesa.
“The Bill also recognises that many smokers need support and advice to successfully 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.”
VTANZ spokesperson Jonathan Devery says the industry wholeheartedly supports parliament strictly enforcing vaping as an R18 activity and introducing product safety standards.
However, he feels parts of the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act won’t help New Zealand reduce its smoking rates.
“Limiting vape flavours to just three in general retail, such as supermarkets, service stations and convenience stores, will hinder our smokefree progress.
“Banning all vape advertising too will see fewer Kiwi smokers encouraged to make the switch.”