E cigarettes will be legalised – with one expert concerned at how widely vape will be available and if children will see advertising in dairies.
The Government announced today it will change the law to legalise the sale of nicotine vape. Vape will be legally sold at some point next year.
The change is a big win for the e-cigarette industry – its products won’t be in plain packaging, nor will the hefty taxes on normal tobacco be applied.
Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner said the change came despite the fact scientific evidence of the safety of e-cigarettes was still developing.
And despite stressing the “low risk” approach taken because of that lack of certainty, Wagner encouraged reporters at Parliament to try vaping.
“I have [tried vaping]. But I’m not very good at it but I don’t smoke either. I suggest anyone who smokes here has a go at vaping, too.
“Around the world we can’t get clear research about this. But what we’re thinking is they are about 95 per cent less harmful than cigarettes.”
The new rules for all e-cigarettes and e-liquid products, whether they contain nicotine or not, include restricting sales to people 18 years and over, banning vaping in indoor areas where smoking is prohibited, and restrictions on advertising.
Broader e-cigarette advertising, such as on radio, TV and billboards, won’t be allowed but retailers will be able to display the products at the point-of-sale.
Point-of-sale advertising was concerning, said University of Otago Professor Janet Hoek, co-director of Aspire 2025 – a research focus to support the Government’s goal of New Zealand becoming smokefree by 2025.