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New Zealand cracks down on vaping, bans single-use devices

June 6, 2023

Health Minister Ayesha Verrall said it was important to remove "vapes as far from the mind and reach of children" as the country aims to create a smoke-free generation by 2025.

A vape shop in Australia, May 2, 2023
The New Zealand government said vaping had played a role in reducing the number of smokers in the country as they were originally meant for, but devices were being increasingly used by young peopleImage: Joel Carrett/AAP/dpa/picture alliance

The New Zealand government Tuesday announced new measures to curb the habit of vaping among young people as it pushes forward to create a "smoke-free generation."

Health Minister Ayesha Verrall said they want "vapes as far from the mind and reach of children and young people as possible."

New vape shops would have to be at least 300 meters (328 yards) from schools and vapes will require a change in branding. 

Enticing flavors like "cotton candy" will no longer be allowed on the packaging. Disposable e-cigarettes, favored by young people, will be outlawed. 

All vapes sold in the country will need either removable or replaceable batteries.

The changes are set to take place from August onwards.

Creating a 'smoke-free generation'

Verrall said "We're creating a future where tobacco products are no longer addictive, appealing or as readily available, and the same needs to apply to vaping."

"New Zealand's smoking rate is half the rate of what it was 10 years ago, with the number of people smoking falling by 56,000 in the past year," she said.

New Zealand in December banned the sale of tobacco products to anyone born on or after January 2009, effectively placing a limit on tobacco usage for future generations.

Anyone violating the rule would have to pay a hefty fine. The country already prohibits the sale of tobacco products to those under 18. 

Wellington aims to create a "smoke-free generation" by 2025.

Australia last month cracked down on the use of vapes, with the health minister saying it was to ensure that vapes could offer people a way out of smoking and not lead them into it.

rm/kb (Reuters, AP)