Australia vaping crackdown: How New Zealand ministers have reacted, Christopher Luxon 'open to all things'

Australia has just announced a major crackdown on vaping - effectively banning the recreational use of e-cigarettes. 

The only way you'll legally be able to get your hands on one is in a pharmacy with a prescription. 

It has sparked calls for changes to happen here but the Government says it isn't on the agenda.

It's a common sight these days: vape clouds filling the footpaths. Kiwis are hooked.

"Yeah I'm addicted, that's pretty much it," said one person. 

"I actually tried to quit... I'm trying, I'm trying."

It was designed to stop people from smoking. But health advocates say it's caused a problem of its own: a new generation of nicotine addicts. 

"Twenty percent of our youth who are regular vapers is terrible and we need to address it now," said Letitia Harding, Asthma and Respiratory Foundation chief executive. 

Australia has the same problem.

"It was not sold as a recreational product, in particular, not one for our kids but that is what it has become. The biggest loophole, I think, in Australian healthcare history," said Australian Health Minister Mark Butler.

Their country already requires prescriptions for vapes. But they're cracking down even further - disposable vapes will be banned and so too the importation of non-prescription products. 

There will be restrictions on colours, flavours and nicotine levels and all remaining vapes will need pharmaceutical packaging. 

"We've got to deal with this now, this is a moment to shut down a major health risk to the youngest generation of Australians," said Butler. 

"I think this signals to New Zealand that we need to have a very open, frank debate about vaping in this country," said Dr Bryan Betty, the General Practice NZ chair.

But our Government won't follow suit.

"We are not at that point at this stage," said acting Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni.

The Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall said following Australia's move isn't something the Government could do this term because it would require legislative change.

But she is looking at other proposals to beef up restrictions. 

"We need to get the right balance between vapes being available as a tool to support people to quit and making sure young people don't vape and we haven't got that balance right at the moment."

National leader Christopher Luxon said it's time to "stop and take a look at what's actually going on and what rules are needed".

He said he's "open to all things to be honest" when asked about a ban.

"I really think we've got our vape settings wrong here in New Zealand, I would really like us to take a step back and really look at them closely," he said.

Because more and more young people are getting hooked.