MOH Draft Vaping Regulations Could Stub Out Smokefree 2025 Success
The Ministry of Health is today drawing backlash from the
local New Zealand vaping industry following its release of
proposed regulations for the Smokefree Environments and
Regulated Products Act.
Vaping Trade Association New
Zealand (VTANZ) President, Lawrence Coe, says the Industry
has long called for positive legislation and regulation that
would control the wild-west marketing environment, and would
protect consumers from unsafe or dodgy products.
we said last year, at the time of the Vaping Bill rushing
through Parliament, via Zoom, during lockdown – the devil
is in the detail, and it doesn’t look
“Unfortunately, rather than carefully crafted
controls on advertising and promotion – the Government
took the easy route of lumping vaping in with smoking and
banning the lot.
“Now we are faced with the next
wave of change, Regulations, and the much-feared costs to
our businesses as a result”.
Mr Coe said there are
some positives proposed which the Industry would welcome,
but overall, the draft proposals needed a lot of
In particular, VTANZ welcomes the proposed
regulations to become a Specialist Vape Retailer, and to
“The product standards
will also go a long way to providing consumers high levels
of trust and confidence in the products that will be
available in New Zealand,” he said.
proposal of a nine-month period for the industry to
implement the product packaging changes is also positive,
and VTANZ hopes that this time period will be applied to all
of the regulated changes to allow for industry consistency,
preparation and planning.
Mr Coe said there are
several negative and highly costly proposals that needed
urgent highlighting and scrutiny so that the wider industry,
consumers, and pro-harm reduction groups could be made
1) The proposed fees of $140 per product
notification risks putting dozens of our members out of
business when facing in excess of $140,000 costs just to
keep trading. Compliance costs are meant to be cost-neutral,
but the government has vastly underestimated the number of
skus on the market. Two retailers in NZ will cover the
entire estimated cost of the programme
2) The proposed
limit of 500mg per container, is also highly problematic.
This means that any liquid sold under the proposed 50mg/ml
cap, could only come in tiny 10ml bottles – this is highly
impractical for manufactures of multiple flavours and
strengths – and also will lead to the generation of
unnecessary additional waste to landfill. The most important
factor is that bottles are tamper and child proof, not their
3) VTANZ strongly opposes the Ministry of
Health’s proposed regulation on the ban to sweeteners in
vaping e-liquids. Almost all international vapour imports
and raw ingredients as well as many domestic products
contain sweeteners in their e-liquid. There is no evidence
that sweeteners contribute to additional harm or adverse
effects, and this should be a watch out for the New Zealand
industry as the Ministry of Health tries to implement
draconian regulations without evidenced based
A ban on sweeteners in e-liquid is a de facto
ban on the majority of the e-liquids on the market akin to
banning salt in food products which will negatively impact
the overall palatability of vaping products and therefore
limit their uptake.
Overall, this rigid clamping down
on the vape industry will just once again play into Big
Nicotine is not the enemy here,
smoking is. By continuing down this path of unjustified
restrictions, ineffective nicotine and flavour limits,
unreasonable fees, and impossible barriers to entry for the
small local players – who comes out on top?
will be submitting on each of the issues, and strongly
encourage all industry participants, and supporters of
tobacco harm reduction to do the
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