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. A seven-week public consultation inviting feedback on the proposed regulations was held 26 January – 15 March 2021. The new regulations 2021 are now available.

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

Timeline

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 and provisions will take effect from this date, including:

  • general retailers can no longer sell vaping or smokeless tobacco products that contain flavours other than tobacco, mint and menthol. Transitional and approved Specialist Vape Retailers may continue to sell products of any flavour that have not been prohibited (no flavours have been prohibited at this stage). 
  • retailers can apply to be approved Specialist Vape Retailers 
  • manufacturers and importers (notifiers) can start notifying their vaping and smokeless tobacco products.

From 11 September 2021

  • general retailers and Transitional/Specialist Vape Retailers must display purchase age (R18) at each Point of Sale for regulated products 
  • general retailers and Transitional/Specialist Vape Retailers can display approved product availability notices 
  • general retailers and Transitional/Specialist Vape Retailers can display approved harm reduction notices 
  • manufacturers, importers and distributors must only provide restricted information on price lists 

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

From 11 May 2022

  • manufacturers and importers must make sure packaging conforms to the regulations

From 25 June 2022

  • distributors must only distribute notified products that conform to regulations (6 week lag after manufacturers to allow for old stock rotation)  

From 11 August 2022

  • general and Specialist Vape Retailers must only sell regulated products that conform to regulations (6 week lag after distributors to allow for old stock rotation)

From 1 January 2023 - 31 January 2023

  • manufacturers, importers and Specialist Vape Retailers must submit annual reports and return for the previous year

Vaping regulation submissions

During a seven-week public consultation (26 January – 15 March 2021), we heard from more than 2500 people across Aotearoa about proposed vaping regulations, including vapers and smokers, health sector organisations, the general public, the vaping and tobacco industry, and retailers. Focus groups run by Hāpai te Hauora and Tala Pasifika resulted in 919 submissions from Māori and Pacific peoples. 

The submissions have now been published.

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