Vaping has been banned on public transport, at work and near schools as part of strict new regulations now in force in New Zealand.
Kiwis are being told that if they are in areas where smoking is not allowed then they should not vape there either.
This means that new vape-free areas include buses, trains, taxis and rideshare services, and entertainment venues including casinos, restaurants and enclosed areas of licensed premises.
Jonathan Devery, co-owner of Alt New Zealand said: “Vaping is the most effective smoking cessation tool the world has ever had. Yet its advertising is now banned in New Zealand, which will simply and sadly lead to fewer Kiwis giving up cigarettes.
“The vape industry would’ve happily adhered to heavily regulated advertising and message restrictions like the alcohol industry does.
“Restricted advertising works well in the UK, but unfortunately New Zealand vape businesses have now lost all opportunity to reach out to smokers.”
New Zealand vape advocate Nancy Loucas said she fears the new rules will lead to stigmatisation of the country’s 200,000 vapers by treating them like smokers.
The Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy director said: “People are being asked to think a little more before they vape. The general rule is if you wouldn’t smoke there, you shouldn’t vape there.”
Advertising also banned
The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act also bans advertising and vape-related sponsorship deals and many local councils have also made their outdoor city centre areas and council parks vape-free.
However workers will still be able to vape in company vehicles and there will be dedicated vaping areas in hospitals and rest homes. Employers will also be encouraged to provide outside vaping areas for staff where possible.
Loucas said: “Vaping is now effectively banned where smoking is, but it’s by no means banned outright. Instead, it’s finally a totally legalised activity for New Zealand adults, albeit now more tightly regulated.
“We encourage non-vaping Kiwis to remember that vaping is stopping their colleagues, friends, and family from smoking.
“We ask that vapers respect the new legal framework, but we also ask that everyone else respect that vapers can still legitimately vape in plenty of places.”
Further restrictions under the new Act will be phased in over the next 15 months.
Key dates include:
November 11, 2020
- vaping is prohibited in workplaces, schools, early childhood education and care centres
- advertising and sponsorship relating to vaping products is prohibited
- the sale of vaping products and toy vaping products to under-18s is prohibited
May 11, 2021
- schools and early childhood education and care centres must display ‘no smoking or vaping’ notices
- vaping and smokeless tobacco products must not contain colouring substances
From August 11, 2021
- general retailers can sell vaping products and smokeless tobacco products only if they are tobacco, mint or menthol flavoured
- retailers can apply to be specialist vape retailers
From November 28, 2021
- vaping is prohibited in motor vehicles carrying children.
From February 11, 2022
- only notified vaping and smokeless tobacco products can be sold
- manufacturers and importers must renotify their products every 12 months
- retailers must display prescribed health warning signs and R18 notices.