The infamous New Zealand Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill bans e-cigarette advertising and restricts flavors, but hastily passed the election despite experts' advice in reducing tobacco harm.
"Kiwi-owned vape businesses are disappointed the Government is rushing through its vaping legislation in time for the election campaign, while the local industry remains completely in the dark over the regulations," said Vaping Trade Association of New Zealand (VTANZ) spokesperson, Jonathan Devery last month.
"As the bill stands, the regulations will take effect a few months after its given Royal Assent. However, alarmingly the industry still doesn't know any detail around the many proposed regulations. We are absolutely committed to ensuring all our products and practices comply, but it's difficult when there remains so much uncertainty," he added.
While discussing the final stage of the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill, Devery commented. Regrettably, the bill has now been passed. There are no proposed amendments, and the e-cigarette industry needs three months to update itself to be consistent with the new regulations.
The "Smoke-free Environment and Controlled Products Vaping Amendment Act" will include the following rules:
The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Vaping Amendment Bill will include the following rules:
- "Ban the sale of vaping products to those under the age of 18.
- Prohibit advertising the products and encouraging people to buy them in-store.
- Limit the sale of all flavors to specialist stores, including online retailers, with shops Like dairies, supermarkets and petrol stations restricted to mint, menthol, and tobacco.
- Allow specialty stores to continue offering loyalty points and discounts.
- Ban vaping in cars with children.
- Enable all retailers to display products in-store.
- Provide a framework for regulations to be set where people are allowed to vape in or outside the premises.
- Introduce a safety system that would allow the Ministry of Health to recall products, suspend them, and issue warnings."
Tobacco harm reduction expert and co-director of the Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA) Nancy Loucas reiterated that the bill is a missed opportunity. "New Zealand has missed its best opportunity to get as close as possible to Smokefree 2025, with the vaping legislation sadly falling well short," she said.
AVCA also expressed disappointment recently because the bill's public submission time shortened at the request of the Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. "This has been a poor process from beginning to end with vaping advocates, consumers, and businesses forced to respond in a totally sub-optimal way. It didn't have to be like this. This legislation could've been so much better and would've saved more lives from deadly combustible tobacco, but sadly the political blinkers were on," she said.
Besides, Lucas said it is disappointing that MP Nicky Wagner's amendment to legalize oral smokeless nicotine bags has not received support because it will give Kiwi smokers another safer option to help them quit smoking and avoid smoking without adverse health problems.
"Then there's our parliamentary petition that 17,357 people signed nearly six months ago. It obviously counted for nothing, and we're still awaiting Parliament's response! Parliament, unfortunately, sided with the opponents' emotions, not the evidence. Let's just hope New Zealand's record -low smoking rate doesn't start rising. MPs have been warned," said Nancy Loucas.
This article is issued by Vaping Post.