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Lack Of Enforcement Of Existing Laws Contributes To Youth Vaping In New Zealand

A leading consumer advocacy group is calling on the Government to enforce existing laws and holding retailers accountable to help prevent young people from getting access to vaping products.

New Zealand is facing a growing problem of youth vaping, with the number of young people taking up the habit increasing dramatically over the past few years. While the country has comprehensive laws in place to regulate the sale and supply of vaping products, the lack of enforcement of these laws is a significant part of the problem says Nancy Loucas, a prominent New Zealand public health consumer advocate and executive coordinator of CAPHRA.

The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act 2020 prohibits the sale of vaping products to anyone under the age of 18 years, and sets safety standards that need to be met before the products can be sold.

“However, the lack of enforcement of these provisions means that retailers are not being held accountable for selling vaping products to underage youth,” said Ms Loucas.

“If retailers saw other retailers receiving fines of up to $10,000 for selling vaping products to underage youth, you would very quickly see a drop in sales to underage people,” said Ms Loucas.

“We call on the Ministry of Health to enforce these provisions and hold retailers accountable by taking them to court and fining them. We also call on the NZ Minister of Health to ask the Director General of health to do this. By doing so, we can send a strong message that selling vaping products to underage youth is unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” said Ms. Loucas.

“By enforcing existing laws and holding retailers accountable, we can help prevent young people from getting access to vaping products,” Ms Loucas said.

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