New Zealand, although less strict on its restrictions on e-cigarettes, still take a pretty harsh stance on it. With an estimated 550 000 smokers, the country aims to be smoke-free by 2025.
In 2017 the government decided in principal to legalise the sale of e-cigarettes with certain controls. Those plans have been put on hold since. Although vapers can import up to 3-months’ supply of nicotine containing vaping products for their own use, it is still illegal to sell or supply these. It’s quite interesting to note that even though these restrictions are in place, vapers are allowed to smoke in smoke-free places in New Zealand. The entire situation sends mixed messages to those who choose to vape.
Most people in the country agree that e-cigarettes and vaping products shouldn’t be freely available to anyone under the age of 18 and welcomes further restriction on advertising.
The proposed changes to the law on e-cigarettes are causing even more confusion. The law will ban on vaping in workplaces and other smoking areas, but retailers will still be able to display e-cigarettes and vaping products at points of sale.
A nationwide survey found that 17% of smokers admitted having tried vaping with 3% being regular users. Half of those said they tried vaping in order to assist them to quit smoking and 46% of e-cigarette users acknowledged it to be less harmful. A further 36% said it was cheaper than tobacco and 35% said that they prefer the smell to that of cigarettes.
It stands to reason that New Zealand should make their laws less confusing and to support those who want to use it as a cessation device.