Dozens protest at Parliament for tougher vape regulations - so how did politicians respond?

Dozens of parents from across the country have taken the vape fight from the schoolyard to Parliament's courtyard. 

They presented a petition to MPs calling for tougher regulations in a bid to stop Kiwi kids from taking up the vaping habit.

It was wet and miserable in Wellington on Wednesday and the petitioners had to find shelter from the rain at the top of Parliament's steps.

"The heavens have heard us, now we just need that lot to," said Charyl Robinson from Vape Free Kids NZ.

Robinson and Vape Free Kids NZ are concerned at the drastic rate of young people who are addicted to vaping.

"We'd like to see vape shops closed within dairies, supermarkets, gas stations."

Their petition calling for those changes has received 13,028 signatures. They delivered it to MPs with a message.

"Young people should be emerging from their rooms smelling like stinky teens, not cotton candy, watermelon or unicorn breath," said petitioner Charlotte Christie.

One of those teens was Reuben Church. He's now a roofer in Tauranga. 

"One of my friends was at school and was like, 'You wanna try this', and that's how it started," said Church.

He was 12 at the time and addicted for two years.

"I definitely had really short breath. I couldn't run for more than 20 metres without sitting down to die."

They've come from all over the country to demand some change - but the question is, will those in the Beehive listen? 

Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall said she would look at the petition. 

She's already banned disposables, fruity flavours, and new shops within 300m of schools - which come into force over the next few weeks but more will likely follow.

"Nothing is off the table in terms of what we need to do," Dr Verrall said. 

National leader Christopher Luxon said he was open to exploring all options, "which includes the Australian option of prescription-only".

ACT's David Seymour called it an "epidemic that's making it harder for kids to learn". 

He has a simple solution.

"If it was up to me, I'd say you need a liquor licence to sell it, then you've got a network of stores that are already far from schools, already have restrictions on checking ID, already have their age restrictions enforced."

Dr Verrall called that an "interesting proposition". 

"Those are the types of proposals we could consider more," she said. 

She may need to have a word with her associate minister beforehand though.

Asked if he thought we had an epidemic in youth vaping, Peeni Henare replied: "No, I haven't seen any evidence to suggest that."

Maybe time for Minister Henare to visit his nearest high school.