About the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act

The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act 2020 (the Amendment Act) commenced on 11 November 2020. The Amendment Act amended the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 and renamed it the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990 (the Act).

The Act strikes a balance between ensuring vaping products are available for smokers who want to switch to a less harmful alternative and ensuring these products aren’t marketed or sold to young people.

The provisions of the Act are being phased in over a 15-month period. This means some provisions came into force straight away, and others take effect further down the track.

Regulations are needed to implement some parts of the Act. Public consultation on the proposed regulations is expected to take place by early 2021.

Read more about the changes in the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products  Act 1990.


From 11 November 2020:

  • vaping is prohibited in workplaces, schools, early childhood education and care centres, and a number of other locations
  • advertising and sponsorship relating to vaping products is prohibited
  • the sale of vaping products and toy vaping products to under-18s is prohibited
  • the importation and sale of nicotine products for chewing or similar oral use is prohibited
  • manufacturers and importers must advise the Vaping Regulatory Authority, via the New Zealand Pharmacovigilance Centre, of any adverse reactions to vaping products
  • retailers that receive at least 50 percent of their total sales in their retail premises from vaping products may elect to operate as transitional specialist vape retailers.

By 25 November 2020:

  • retailers that have not elected to operate as transitional specialist vape retailers must operate as general retailers until they elect to be a transitional specialist vape retailer, or are approved to be a specialist vape retailer (from 11 August 2021).

From 11 May 2021:

  • schools and early childhood education and care centres must display ‘no smoking or vaping’ notices
  • vaping and smokeless tobacco products must not contain colouring substances.

From 11 August 2021:

  • new regulations are expected to be made by this date, including in relation to:
    • the display of vaping products in retail settings
    • the promotion of vaping products and the provision of information and advice
    • point-of-sale purchase age information
    • packaging
    • the product notification process and product safety requirements
    • requirements for annual reporting and returns
    • fees and levies
  • general retailers can only sell tobacco, mint or menthol flavours of vaping products and smokeless tobacco products
  • retailers can apply to be approved specialist vape retailers
  • manufacturers and importers (notifiers) can start notifying their vaping and smokeless tobacco products
  • manufacturers and importers must re-notify their products every 12 months.

From 11 November 2021:

  • transitional specialist vape retailers that have not applied to be and been approved as a specialist vape retailer must revert to being a general retailer.

From 28 November 2021:

  • vaping and smoking are prohibited in motor vehicles carrying children.

From 11 February 2022:

  • only vaping and smokeless tobacco products that have a current notification can be sold
  • retailers must display prescribed health warning signs and R18 notices.
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