Vaping and smokefree history and timelines

New Zealand’s history of vaping regulation

Read the history of vaping regulation below or download the information:

Late 2023: Manatū Hauora will review the policy settings for vaping products to determine if there are any necessary changes that need to be made to better support the intent and objectives of the Act. The review will consider the availability, appeal and addictiveness of vaping, smokeless tobacco and emerging products. Any changes to the law would follow usual Parliamentary processes, including consideration by a select committee.

TBC 2023: New regulations start to come into effect, expected from August 2023

6 June 2023: The Government announces new policies to make vaping less appealing to youth, significantly reduce the availability of smoked tobacco and make it less addictive.

January – March 2023: Manatū Hauora consults publicly on a number of proposals to implement the Smoked Tobacco Regulatory Regime. More than 2700 people had their say on regulatory proposals including restricting flavour names of vaping products, extending safety requirements for disposable vaping products and restricting where Specialist Vape Retailers can be located.

1 January 2023: Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Act comes into force on 1 January 2023.

November 2022: The Protect Your Breath campaign is launched. Manatū Hauora and Te Whatu Ora developed a health promotion programme Protect Your Breath to encourage young people to live vape free lives. This launched on social media and other places that reach young people in early November 2022. Research looked at what role vaping plays in youth life, school communities and home and where efforts should be focused to reduce vaping harm. To help address these questions, Protect Your Breath came to life through co-design with the Hā Collective, a core group of young people. Phase two – which will be interactive in nature – is in development. Activities will reframe youth thinking on vaping use as well as offering important takeaways that give young people alternative options to picking up a vape.

11 August 2021: Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Regulations 2021 are made and start to come into force. The Smokefree Regulations 2021 set out in further detail the requirements needed to fully implement these provisions, including:

  • packaging requirements
  • product notification and safety requirements
  • annual reporting and returns
  • fees.

August 2021: The Vaping Regulatory Authority is established to regulate vaping products and manage applications for Specialist Vape Retailers.

July 2021: Public health message issued for Vaping Facts.

2020: The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act comes into force in November. This includes:

  • Prohibiting vaping advertising and sponsorship
  • Banning vape sales to under-18s with Specialist Vape Retailers required to take all practicable steps to stop youth under 18 from entering their premises.;
  • Requiring retailers to display R18 notices with health warnings at every point-of-sale. This is because, unlike tobacco products, vaping products may be on display and visible to children and young people under the age of 18.
  • Banning general retailers (like dairies, supermarkets, and service stations) from selling vaping or smokeless tobacco products that contain flavours other than tobacco, mint, and menthol. Only approved Specialist Vape Retailers were allowed to continue to sell a full range of flavours.
  • Banning colouring substances in vape liquid to reduce their appeal. 

2019: The Vaping Facts website is launched.

12 November 2018: Cabinet agrees to a set of proposals to improve the regulation of vaping and smokeless tobacco products.

2017: Electronic Cigarette Technical Expert Advisory Group forms, completes its work in 2018:

Aotearoa New Zealand’s Smokefree journey

Read the history of smoking regulation below or download the information:

2023Public Health Message issued under Section 24(f) of the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990.

2023: Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Act comes into force on 1 January.

2023: Low Nicotine Technical Expert Advisory Group forms and completes its work.

2021: Smoke-free Environments (Prohibiting Smoking in Motor Vehicles Carrying Children) Amendment Act comes into force on 28 November. Smokefree 2025 Action Plan launched on 9 December.

2020: Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act 2020 comes into force on 11 November 2020.

2019: Vaping Facts website launched.

2018: Tobacco standardised packaging introduced.

2016: Stop Before You Start campaign launches.
2011: Following the Māori Affairs Select Committee process in 2010, the New Zealand Government responded with a goal of a Smokefree New Zealand by 2025.

2010: First of ten annual tobacco excise tax increases of 10%.

2004: All licensed premises (bars, restaurants, cafes, sports clubs, casinos) and other workplaces (including offices, factories, warehouses, work canteens and ‘smoko’ rooms) become smokefree indoors in New Zealand.

2003: FCTC signed 16 June 2003.

1999: Quitline launched.

1990: Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 comes into force. Auahi Kore Smokefree brand launched.

1984: Strong health warnings linking smoking to heart and lung disease appear on the front and back of cigarette packets sold in New Zealand. Strong public support for restrictions on smoking at work and indoors in public.

1974: First health warning on cigarette packets.

1963: Cigarette advertising on tv and radio banned.

1948: First posters in New Zealand link cancer with smoking.

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