Regulating vaping and heated tobacco products will be further considered after a recent District Court decision ruled they may be legally imported, sold and distributed in New Zealand.
The court case Philip Morris v Ministry of Health found all tobacco products - except chewing and dissolving types - could be lawfully sold under the Smoke-free Environments Act.
An implication of the court’s decision is that largely the same regulatory controls apply to smoked tobacco products, heated tobacco products and vaping products manufactured from tobacco, including the ban on sales to minors and restrictions on advertising.
Now that the court decision is known, the Ministry of Health plans to consider how best to apply risk-proportionate regulation to all tobacco and vaping products.
Retailers are urged to continue to trade responsibly until a new regulatory framework for tobacco products is developed and comes into force. In particular, they should not advertise or sell vaping products to children and young people under 18 years of age as covered by the current law – the Smoke-free Environments Act.
The Ministry is also developing standards for vaping products, which will be consulted on in 2018 and issued as a voluntary product standard, and are expected to become mandatory when the Smoke-free Environments Act is amended.
More information can be found on the Vaping, smokeless, including heated tobacco page.