The Government has announced a plan to regulate vaping, including a ban inside public places like bars, restaurants and workplaces.
Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa announced on Friday the Government plans to amend the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 in 2019.
- Govt urged to push vaping as alternative to smoking
- Switching to vaping not easy - research
- 'Plenty of reservations' over harmlessness of vaping - expert
She said the changes will give smokers more confidence in vaping and smokeless tobacco products, while still keeping children and young people safe from the risks associated with them.
"Vaping is a significantly less harmful alternative to smoking and it has been used as an effective tool to quit smoking," Ms Salesa said in a statement.
"However, it is not completely risk-free and that's why we need to make it as safe as possible and protect young people from taking it up."
The proposed amendments will:
- clarify where people can and cannot vape, and ban vaping at schools and indoors at bars, restaurants and workplaces
- change to the way vaping products are displayed in retail stores
- enable the creation of product safety requirements for vaping and smokeless tobacco products
- implement a product notification system to support action when concerns arise with a product
- allow vaping in specialist R18 outlets.
"This approach reflects the findings from the Ministry of Health's public consultation in 2016 which showed overwhelming support for the continued prohibition of sales of vaping products to under 18 year olds," said Ms Salesa.
"The public will have a say on the legislative amendments proposed. That opportunity will come next year when the select committee calls for submissions. The ministry will also consult on implementation of the changes. "
Further consultation will take place in 2019.