New Zealand Health Minister Ayesha Verrall is set to unveil the government’s strategy to address youth vaping, reports Stuff.
While an outright ban on cheap, disposable vapes or making them prescription-only has not been promised, Verrall aims to strike a balance between using vaping as a smoking cessation tool and preventing its appeal to young people.
The Australian government recently banned the importation of vapes except through pharmacies and introduced quality standards. Verrall did not confirm if New Zealand would follow suit, but she emphasized the need for a vaping policy that aligns with the country’s specific needs.
Proposed regulations include restricting the location of specialist vape retailers near schools or sports grounds, regulating vape flavor names and implementing safety measures for single-use vaping products. Some experts suggest further measures, such as educating young people and limiting availability to pharmacies.
The regulation of vaping products and retailers was not included in the previously passed legislation to ban tobacco sales to a generation.
The government also plans to reduce the number of places selling tobacco products from 6,000 to 600 as part of their Smoke-Free 2025 action plan.