What New Zealand’s Vaping Laws Mean for Vapers and Retailers
Health authorities in New Zealand have enacted new vaping regulations similar to tobacco laws. The laws, which was passed recently, will come into effect over a period of 15 months. The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act 2020 was passed in August 2020 and will be phased through to February 2021.
The new legislature gives room for adults to be able to use vaping to deal with smoking addictions. The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act 2020 also addresses other concerns involving minors and vaping.
Earlier this year, a study by professors from different universities in New Zealand found that 65 percent of teenagers in high school have tried vaping, although many of them have never smoked a cigarette. According to the study, more than 48 percent of these high school teenagers are said to vape regularly.
University of Auckland Associate Professor Terryann Clark conducted the joint study with Dr Terry Fleming from Te Herenga Waka from Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Health. The research showed that vaping is more appealing to children of high school ages.
“Vaping seems to appeal to a wider range of young people than smoking, and unlike smoking it is more common in boys than girls,” Dr. Fleming said.
The study also revealed that young people, in particular Maori youth, are more affected by vaping and tobacco products. Researchers called on lawmakers to make regulations that will protect young people from the possible dangers of vaping. The laws would also regulate the quality of vaping products allowed to be sold.
One of the main selling points of vaping that its a safer option than smoking tobacco cigarettes. Across the world, people have reportedly used vaping to wean themselves off the habit of smoking. However, law makers in different countries have all had to develop new laws to govern vaping products and the industry. Health officials in New Zealand have also taken this into account, and the new vaping laws made the protection of young people a priority.
“Vaping is not without risks, but it is less harmful than cigarette smoking, which is why the legislation allows for the provision of information and advice for those wishing to switch from smoking to vaping,” Heath Minster Andrew Little said.
The new regulations will also bar people below 18 years old from purchasing vaping products. Part of the new vaping laws in New Zealand prohibits the sale of vaping products to non-vapers.
“These changes will prevent vaping products from being marketed or sold to non-smokers, especially young people, while ensuing that they are available for smokers who want to switch to a less harmful alternative,” Little said.
As stated earlier, the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act 2020 is very similar to vaping tobacco laws in other countries. The new laws prohibit vaping in indoor spaces like at workplaces, licensed premises, and restaurants.
Although many say vaping is safer than smoking cigarettes, health officials have expressed concerns about young people vaping. The government has sought to protect young people of school-going ages from vaping and vaping advertisements. The new laws prohibit vaping at schools and especially at early childhood centers, including outgoing spaces. Schools and all early childhood education and care centers are mandated to display “ no smoking signs or vaping’ notices. Vaping is also prohibited in all vehicles carrying young children. This is meant to protect children from inhaling vaping fumes.
The Smoke-free Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act 2020 prohibits most sponsorship and advertising of vaping products. And based on the new law, retailers cannot encourage the use of vaping products. However, the regulations make provision for instances where it is allowed.
The New law allows retailers to sell vaping products and smokeless tobacco products only if they contain tobacco, mint, or menthol flavors. And retailers who specialize in selling vaping products are allowed to operate. The law also states that transitional vaping retailers that have not applied to be vaping specialists must revert to being general retailers until their approval comes through.
The new vaping laws also allow manufacturers and importers to indicate that their products are vaping and smokeless tobacco products.
From February 2021, only approved vaping products and smokeless tobacco products will be allowed to be sold. Health authorities also require that companies producing vaping products, and those involved in their importation must be registered. And these vaping companies must notify the authorities of their products every 12 months to avoid being shut-out. Also, retailers are required by the new vaping law to display prescribed health waning signs and R18 notices.
According to the new vaping laws, all vaping products, including e-liquids, must not contain coloring substances. The same applies to smokeless tobacco products.