Vape legislation in New Zealand is paradoxical. The importation of vaping products is authorized, and consuming e-cigarettes is legal, but the sale of e-cigarettes is illegal. In the face of such confusion, the New Zealand government is rethinking its vaping laws.
For years, New Zealand has been one of the most anti-tobacco countries in the world. The arrival of vaping devices on the international market could have been seen as an opportunity to reduce tobacco consumption. Despite constant demands by the Maori Public health organization, “Hāpai Te Hauora,” health authorities still ban the sale of e-cigarettes, even though vaping in non-smoking public spaces is still permitted. Something has to give.
Nuance and flexibility for NZ e-cigarette laws
Today, 16% of New Zealanders smoke cigarettes, a number that has gone down by 20% in the past 10 years. Almost 80% of young people have never smoked a cigarette. Despite these encouraging statistics, the numbers don’t exactly reflect reality. The rate of young smokers within the Maori population is two times higher than the rest of the population.
For Hayden McRobbie, clinical director and professor of public health in England, current regulations in New Zealand have created a complicated situation. According to him, permitting the sale of vaping devices would be a step forward. This would also help achieve the New Zealand government’s 2025 “smoke free” objective. The amount of vapers in New Zealand is estimated in between 100,000 and 200,000 people, almost half of who started vaping to stop smoking cigarettes.
The government is scheduled to authorize the sale of vaping products for those 18 and older. Retailers will even be able to freely advertise vaping products on their shelves. Despite all of this, publicity for electronic cigarettes and e-liquids will still be illegal. Additionally, vaping will face tougher restrictions, including a ban on the use of e-cigarettes in non-smoking public spaces.