Vaping legislation passes

  • Hon Jenny Salesa

Landmark legislation passed today puts New Zealand on track to saving thousands of lives and having a smokefree generation sooner rather than later, Associate Health Minister, Jenny Salesa says.

The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill regulates vaping products and heated tobacco devices.

“There has long been concern from many in the community, including parents, schools and health experts about vaping products and e-cigarettes being unregulated in New Zealand, something that is at odds with many other countries,” Jenny Salesa said.

“The Bill strikes a balance between helping smokers quit by offering regulated vaping as an alternative, while discouraging children and young people from taking it up.

“It has been a complex Bill to develop, but I believe we have arrived at an elegant solution. It ensures vaping products are still available to smokers who want to quit by switching to a less harmful alternative but also ensures they cannot be sold or marketed to children.

“The Bill also recognises that many smokers need support and advice to successfully move to less harmful alternatives so the Bill allows for the provision of information and advice for those wishing to switch from smoking to vaping,” Jenny Salesa said.

‘We know vaping is not without risks but it is 95 per cent less harmful than cigarette smoking. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in this country and contributes to the death of an average 5000 New Zealanders every year.”

The Bill is the most significant change to the Smoke-free Environments Act in 30 years. lt limits generic retailers such as dairies, service stations and supermarkets to selling only tobacco, mint and menthol flavoured vaping products, but specialist vape retailers will be able to sell any flavours from their shops and websites.

“Anything this Government can do to reduce the number of smokers and steer our kids towards a smokefree Aotearoa has got to be a good thing. I am proud to have led this considered and sensible approach to a healthier Aotearoa New Zealand,” Jenny Salesa said.