Since January 1st 2023, changes to vaping regulations in New Zealand have been rolling out
In the info below, we will walk you through the changes to the regulations!
The information below comes from the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act 2020.
To help you understand some of the terms in the regulations, we’ll start with a few that come up a lot.
Importers: bring goods into New Zealand
Manufacturers: make or assemble goods in New Zealand
Distributors: deliver goods from importers or manufacturers to retailers
Retailers: sell goods to customers within New Zealand for personal use
Exporters: sell goods to customers outside of New Zealand
Specialist Vape Retailer (SVR): a person approved to sell notified products
Approved Vaping Premises (AVP): an approved store, shop, or location where a SVR may sell notified products
Notifiable products: vaping, smokeless tobacco & herbal smoking products
Notify: register a product with the Vaping Regulatory Authority
That’s out of the way, let’s look at when the changes take effect.
1 January 2023:
– NZ Manufacturers, Importers, Distributors, and Retailers must keep accurate records relating to all their vaping products.
21 September 2023:
– Retailers must be 300m away from any schools or marae.
1 October 2023:
– Retailers must declare that they vaping products, and NZ Manufacturers and Importers must have declared all vaping products.
21 October 2023:
– NZ Manufacturers and Importers must only notify vaping products that use permitted flavour descriptions, and that meet product safety requirements.
21 December 2023:
– NZ Manufacturers, Importers, Distributors, and Retailers must only sell single-use vaping products that meet product safety requirements.
– Disposable and pre-filled (closed pod) vapes must only contain up to 20mg of nicotine (2%).
21 March 2024:
– NZ Manufacturers, Importers, Distributors, and Retailers must not sell vaping products that have cartoons or toys on the packaging.
– NZ Manufacturers, Importers, Distributors, and Retailers must only sell vaping products that use permitted flavour descriptions.
– NZ Manufacturers, Importers, Distributors, and Retailers must only sell reusable vaping products that meet product safety standards.
– E-liquids / e-juices must only contain up to 28.5mg of nicotine (~3%).
– All vaping devices must have a removable battery, and child safety mechanisms present.
Let’s think about why these changes are good for young people
Product packaging changes:
Many of the vaping products sold currently at AVPs have packaging that is covered in patterns, bright colours, and cartoons. These designs appeal to young people, just the same as animated tv shows, cereal boxes, and advertisements.
From the 21st March 2024, no vaping products that have cartoons or toys on the packaging will be approved for sale in New Zealand. This is done in an effort reduce how enticing vapes, vaping products, and the act of vaping itself is to young people.
Flavour description changes:
Limiting the descriptions that can be used for vape flavours will also be done in an effort to reduce the perception of vaping products, and vaping, by young people.
From the 21st March 2024, vape flavours will be limited to a short list of descriptions in the categories; tobacco; mint; fruit; sweet & sour; nuts & grains; coffee & tea; spice; or none. Vaping products should not resemble food or cosmetic products.
Product safety requirements:
There have been instances of underage children and even toddlers finding and using vapes owned by their parents or siblings. In order to prevent young people from using vapes, only those that have removable batteries and child-safety mechanisms may be notified and sold.
Child safety mechanisms on vapes requires at least 2 simultaneous or 5 sequential operations before the vaping device is activated; and automatically deactivates the device within a period of no more than 10 minutes after vaping has stopped.