Vaping laws welcomed

The Cancer Society is pleased new vaping laws will finally put an end to the marketing of highly addictive products to children and non-smokers.

From November 11, it will be illegal to sell vapes to under 18’s and advertising and sponsorship of vaping products will be banned altogether. Vaping will also be banned in legislated smoke free areas such as:

  • indoor workplaces
  • cafes and pubs
  • schools and early childhood centres
  • public transport.

“It is important all New Zealanders are aware that vaping is now regulated,” says Shayne Nahu, Cancer Society Advocacy and Wellbeing Manager (Te Arawa, Tainui, Irish).

“These new laws are designed to protect children and non-smokers.”

The first phase of the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act will also ban the use of vapes in schools, workplaces, early childhood centres and a number of other locations.

“We’ve had two years without regulation and that has allowed the tobacco industry to get a foothold on the messaging around vaping,” says Nahu. “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.” 

“These regulations will be a relief to school principals, teachers and parents who have been looking for regulation in this area,” says Nahu.

“It will now be illegal to hand out vapes in ‘goodie bags’ at fashionable events, promote them online, or pay influencers to talk about vaping on social media. This will make it less likely New Zealand children and non-smokers will become addicted to nicotine through vaping.”

The most recent ASH data revealed a three-fold increase in regular vaping in Year 10 students between 2018 and 2019 – from 4% to 12% of 14-15-year olds. 

The full changes in the Amendment Act, including restricting the sale of flavoured vape products to specialist retailers, will be phased in over the next 15 months.

“Regulating vaping is just one step, there is much more work to be done in this space,” says Nahu. “Cigarettes are deadly and still widely available. We look forward to the day when all tobacco products are only available from specialist R18 shops.

“Ongoing monitoring will be really important to ensure people are adhering to the legislation.”