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New Vaping Laws Take Effect Today

Hon Andrew Little

Minister of Health

New laws intended to discourage young people from vaping while allowing smokers to continue using vaping to give up cigarettes take effect today, Health Minister Andrew Little says.

“Today’s changes mean the laws around vaping are now similar to those around tobacco smoking,” Andrew Little says.

The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act 2020, passed in August 2020 and comes into effect today.

It introduces a range of prohibitions and restrictions on vaping which will be phased in over a 15-month period through to February 2022.

Some of the key initial changes from today are:

• the sale or supply of vaping products to under 18s is prohibited

• indoor vaping is prohibited at workplaces, restaurants and licensed premises

• vaping is prohibited at schools and early childhood centres (including outdoors)

• most advertising and sponsorship of vaping products is prohibited

• retailers cannot encourage the use of vaping products (with some exceptions).

“These changes will prevent vaping products from being marketed or sold to non-smokers, especially young people, while ensuring that they are available for smokers who want to switch to a less harmful alternative.

“Vaping is not without risks, but it is less harmful than cigarette smoking, which is why the legislation allows for the provision of information and advice for those wishing to switch from smoking to vaping,” Andrew Little said.


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Retailers that receive the majority of their sales income from vaping products can now apply to become a transitional Specialist Vape Retailers (SVRs). SVRs are exempt from some of the restrictions that apply to general retailers. Retailers who choose to become a transitional SVR must apply by 24 November 2020, otherwise they can only operate as a general retailer. Information about the criteria for becoming a transitional SVR, and the application form, is available on the Ministry of Health’s website.

The Ministry of Health’s Vaping Regulatory Authority is responsible for the regulation of vaping products and smokeless tobacco products (notifiable products). The Vaping Regulatory Authority also manages applications from retailers to become SVRs and receives annual reporting information from manufacturers, importers, and SVRs.

Further information, including the timing of further changes, is available on the Ministry of Heath website.

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