Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ (ARFNZ) is pleased to see that the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Vaping Amendment Bill has been passed into legislation last night, after years of lobbying for regulations.
The Bill will provide long-awaited restrictions on the sale, promotion, and distribution of vape products, phased in from November 2020.
Letitia Harding, Chief Executive of ARFNZ believes these regulations are a step in the right direction to reduce youth uptake of vaping in New Zealand.
"The Foundation has been actively requesting vaping regulations for years now, and we are elated that this industry can now be held to account, and will help curb the palatability and appeal of vape products to our youth."
ARFNZ believes the regulations restricting vape flavours available in non-specialty stores to mint, menthol and tobacco will help reinforce the perspective that vaping products are smoking cessation tools, and not to be used recreationally.
"It is great to hear that some restrictions on vape flavours have been put in place, as this was a key attraction for youth, however, the next step is to make sure we are educating and supporting those who want to use vaping as a tool to quit smoking. We would then want to see these people quit vaping too," says Letitia.
"Treating vape products solely as smoking cessation devices is what we have advocated for all along - but habits cannot be broken from just replacing one for the other," Letitia continues.
ARFNZ Medical Director, Dr Stuart Jones believes more support is needed if New Zealand is to effectively use vape devices as smoking cessation tools in order to reach Smokefree2025.
"It is great that these products will now be regulated, however, studies show that wrap-around support services are needed when using vaping products for smoking cessation - and this should be provided at the point of sale," says Stuart.