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Vaping Industry Welcomes Government Crackdown On Youth Vaping

VIANZ is pleased to see today's announcements from Minister Costello regarding tightening up the regulations to prevent youth vaping.

Banning disposables, increasing fines for retailers who sell to youth, and ensuring appropriate staffing levels in specialist vape retailers (SVRs) are all steps VIANZ has asked the Ministry to implement previously. It is our view that legislation without enforcement will not deliver change and we worry these changes will prove pointless unless authorities actually start to step up and enforce the regulations. We hope that as part of this announcement Government is giving thought to how the regulations will be enforced and what resources need to be invested to ensure youth access is prevented.

Successfully implementing a disposable vaping ban is challenging, even with effective enforcement, as manufacturers can innovate to circumvent regulatory intentions. We are already seeing a growing number of non-compliant products available on market today. To effectively manage a ban on disposable vaping products we propose a comprehensive strategy.

  • Firstly, introduce a new layer of restriction that requires quality control certification for any manufacturer of vaping products. Manufacturers must be ISO certified and submit their certificates for verification by VRA before the product is accepted for sale.
  • Secondly, the MoH should adopt a rigorous pre-approval process, meticulously scrutinising all product specifications before granting permission for sale. This step ensures that only compliant and high-quality products enter the market, addressing the current challenges of non-compliance.
  • Thirdly, the government is encouraged to consider transferring regulatory control of vaping to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). This suggestion is based on the MoJ’s established success in alcohol licensing, demonstrating a proven track record in effective regulatory oversight. Such a transition would contribute to a more robust and well-regulated vaping industry.
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This proactive and multi-faceted approach will not only stem the flow of soon-to-be black-market disposable vaping products into our country, but it will also help to establish a market where only high-quality and approved products are available. Moreover, it is anticipated that such measures would alleviate the strain on enforcement officers, facilitating more efficient regulation and oversight.

We hope the Minister and her advisors will start to engage with industry on the proposed changes. We are more than happy to share our expert knowledge to ensure the regulatory changes are successful and youth access is prevented.

On behalf of industry, we ask to be included in conversations around the proposed phasing out of disposables. The New Zealand market is made up of small, independent, locally owned businesses who will need time to adjust their supply channels to ensure consumers retain access to the products they rely on to remain smokefree. For some companies these changes will pose a significant challenge, so ensuring a fair timeframe for the process will be crucial.

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