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Vaping hero
24 February 2022

Unregistered vaping products now illegal

New vaping safety measures take effect.

Any vaping or smokeless tobacco product that has not been registered is now illegal to sell.

The six-month window has now closed for retailers, manufacturers and importers to register what’s in the product with the Health Advisory and Regulatory Platform.

This regulation kicked in on 11 February as The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act implements further safety measures around vaping products.

It’s estimated that over a quarter of a million people vape daily in New Zealand. That number includes many teenagers who have taken up the habit, despite vaping being intended as a quit smoking tool.

It comes as no surprise, as walking into a vape store is akin to entering a futuristic candy shop, with its minimalist walls sporting a seemingly endless array of rainbow colours, fun flavours and sparkly packaging.

The act has a 15-month phasing in period that will go until January 2023, when all the regulations will be in place.

Other measures already in effect include:

  • Only specialist vape retailers having the ability to sell flavoured vaping products.

  • Retailers such as supermarkets, service stations and dairies can only sell tobacco - menthol - or mint - flavoured vape products, limiting the ease of access for these products.

  • R18 notices must be displayed at all points of sale.

  • Vaping and smoking in vehicles carrying children has been banned.

The act aims to strike a balance between ensuring vaping products are available for smokers who want to switch to a less harmful alternative and ensuring these products aren’t marketed or sold to young people.

Cigarettes, however, continue to be readily available at all their usual retailers to anyone 18 and older.

Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said upcoming “new laws will mean only smoked tobacco products containing very low-levels of nicotine can be sold, with a significant reduction in the number of shops who can sell them”.

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