Duncan Garner: Let's hope new legislation stops vaping from becoming the new smoking

OPINION: Well they finally got there in the end didn't they - vaping has a new law.

It had looked like the uncontrolled free-for-all would continue unabated, but MPs finally sucked in some common sense - realised who paid their wages - and out came a new law Parliament passed last night.

Way to go - and way to make something which should have been pretty simple look like a dog's dinner.

From the start the Minister in charge Jenny Salesa struggled, which played a huge part in the delay.

We made vaping our first investigative feature of The Big Picture Series on The AM Show.

We started simply, just the basics, and in Jenny we trusted - so we asked Jenny, 'What's in this vaping liquid?'

"It includes nicotine - it includes flavours," she said.

Well that got us nowhere fast - quick, bring in a law to stop whatever it might be that's in it.

As a 'quit smoking' tool the stats don't lie: vaping is a lifesaver. It works. Put down the durrie, pick up the vape - you'll feel better.

But then came the trickery, the unintended consequences and side effects.

Non-smoking young Kiwis, never interested in smoking, suddenly could vape.

Which part of Smokefree New Zealand 2025 strategy did that fall into?

Sure enough, principals got worried. Students suddenly abandoned the nookie by the bike sheds and went there to vape instead. Principals saw red.

This wasn't how it was meant to be.

As a replacement for smoking - vape away. It works. It may be the answer to get our stubborn smokers to switch, but this new law will hopefully limit the number of young people starting to vape.

There will be no sales to under-18s, and no advertising or marketing. It's all banned.

Let's hope vaping doesn't become the new smoking, where we see a whole new generation starting to vape.

No more free for all, no more targeting kids - well done to Parliament for finally getting there.

But you almost grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory by doing nothing, and we may not have forgiven you.

Now fingers crossed it works.

Duncan Garner is the host of The AM Show.