Oct 29, 2023
Disposable vapes banned from November, new retailers can’t be within 300m of schools and marae
Share this article The Government is trying to make it harder for young people to pick up and continue vaping through a suite of measures to make vapes less accessible and less attractive to young
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The Government is trying to make it harder for young people to pick up and continue vaping through a suite of measures to make vapes less accessible and less attractive to young Kiwis.
However, Dr Ayesha Verrall is confident vaping plays an important role in New Zealand achieving Smokefree 2025 and is defending not going further to make vapes more difficult to access, saying they were vital in helping people quit smoking.
The measures included prohibiting the sale of disposable and reusable vapes within the next year, accounting for a lead-in time provided to manufacturers and importers.
Disposable or single-use vape products could not be sold from November, while reusable vapes could not be sold from March.
Vapes sold after March would have to include removeable or replaceable batteries.
Vapes would also require “child-safety mechanisms” - such as buttons to make them harder to operate - and flavour names such as “cotton candy” and “strawberry jelly donut” would be changed to more dull titles like “sweet” and “berry” respectively, Verrall said.
New vape retailers would also not be able to operate within 300 metres of a school or marae.
The 2021/22 NZ Health Survey found 8.3 per cent of adults - those aged over 15 - were vaping or using e-cigarettes daily, up from 6.2 per cent the previous year and 0.9 per cent in 2015/16.
The Ash survey of year 10 students for 2022 found 10.1 per cent of the nearly 30,000 respondents vaped daily - up from 9.6 per cent in 2021 and more than tripling since 2019.
In January last year, the Herald reported Ministry of Health data that detailed how at least one in four New Zealand schools - 894 - were within 1km of a vape store, and at least 77 were within 250m.
“Too many young people are vaping, which is why we’re making a number of moves to stop that happening,” Verrall said, speaking alongside Prime Minister Chris Hipkins at his post-Cabinet press conference.
“We recognise we need to strike a balance between preventing young people from starting to vape, at the same time as having vapes available as a cessation tool for those who genuinely want to give up smoking.
“These new regulations build on protections the Labour Government introduced in 2020, including banning sales to under-18s and prohibiting vape advertising and sponsorship.”
Vape retailers that already existed within the 300m boundary could continue to operate.
Verrall defended the decision to allow those retailers to continue, saying it was legitimate to do so given those businesses had complied with the previous rules.
While she believed the Government’s position on vaping should be under constant review, Verrall was clear vaping provided a good avenue for smokers to quit and said a balance had to be struck between that and making sure it wasn’t easily accessible for youth.
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