"Flavours in e-juice help smokers to quit smoking"
After a long debate on e-cigarettes, New Zealand has decided to change the law regulating vejp products. The authorities believe that e-cigarettes are an effective way to quit smoking. At the same time, the government wants to limit the range of flavours in the e-liquid. Juice sold outside vejp shops can only be flavoured with tobacco or menthol.
New Zealand, which has one of the toughest tobacco laws in the world, wants to restrict flavoured e-juice in the general trade and online purchases. The ban applies to all flavours except tobacco and menthol. But at the same time, the government wants e-cigarettes to be available "as far as possible" to smokers who want to use vejpning to quit smoking. The age limit for buying nicotine and vejp products will be 18 years old.
"Flavours can attract young people to start using e-cigarettes. But flavours also play an important role for smokers who switch to e-cigarettes," said New Zealand's Minister for Health. Jeny Salesa to state TV channel TVNZ.
Specialist shops (such as vejpshoppes) will therefore still be allowed to sell flavoured e-juice, without restrictions, in New Zealand.
Important for public health
The Austrailian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association (ATHRA) welcomes the new laws. According to the organisation, New Zealand's laws have a clear harm reduction perspective. And they stand in stark contrast to neighbouring Australia, where the sale of vejp products is heavily regulated. Nicotine-containing e-liquid cannot be sold at all in Australia and e-cigarettes are regulated, as in Sweden, according to the same model as cigarettes.
"New Zealand will have exemplary legislation on e-cigarettes. The products are decoupled from tobacco. And the government recognises that vejpning poses less risk to smokers than cigarettes. The law allows smokers to switch from cigarettes to less harmful alternatives. And that they can do so safely." Writes ATHRA in a press release.
Long debate on e-cigarettes
The law in New Zealand comes after a heated debate on e-cigarettes in the country. Until 2018, nicotine-containing e-liquid was banned from sale along the same lines as in neighbouring Australia.
However, when the health authorities, together with doctors and scientists, at the University of Auckland presented the several reports on how vejpning can effectively work to reduce smoking., turned the debate around. Several other organisations in the country have also chosen to consider e-cigarettes as a way to reduce the risks of nicotine use.
"Even if we have to monitor and follow up on unknown risks of vejpning, e-cigarettes are still a much less harmful and cheaper alternative to cigarettes," writes a leading author. Heart Foundation New Zealand on its website.
Similar to EU directive on e-cigs
The government presented its proposal for new laws on electronic cigarettes in February. It is expected to be adopted in the coming days.
The New Zealand laws are in many ways similar to the European legislation on e-cigarettes. The EU does not prohibit flavoured e-liquid in any form. However, as with the EU Directive, all products must be registered with the authorities before being sold. Also marketing will be limited, with the aim of not attracting young people and non-smokers.