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Vaping In New Zealand - Where are we?

Date: 25 Sep 18

Author: Jimmy Nicks


There is a lot of news and opinion out there about the FDA's stance on vaping. If you have read any of my blogs before, I completely and utterly think the FDA surrenders to corporate backing and does not have the health and well-being of Americans as a core principle.


So what about New Zealand? What is our Government doing, and what is the likely outcome for the kiwi vaping industry? Does the current Government support legalising vaping products that contain nicotine as part of a Tobacco Harm Reduction initiative and smoking cessation tool, or are we heading down the path of our American friends?


The previous National Government stated that commercially importing vaping products containing nicotine was illegal. But we all know this was not enforced. Anyone could buy vape products containing nicotine (or not) at any number of outlets and online stores. But surprisingly, in 2017, the National Government, thanks to the then Minister Nicky Wagner, announced a bill that would legalise eliquid and devices containing nicotine. Awesome right. Not quite. National lost the election. But this did not mean the end of the road. From the opposition benches, Wagner submitted a private members bill to parliament, proposing the legalisation of e-cigarettes, with nicotine, to become legal. For a simple version without reading the full bill, view here.


Enter Labour. This must be a win-win yes? We had a so-called 'right-wing' party making plans to legalise vaping products containing nicotine, surely our lefty friends will follow the lead, right? They even have a bill before them, the framework has been proposed, let's rock'n'roll. Well, it turns out there has been more fence sitting than rock'n'roll.


Jenny Salesa, Associate Health Minister, is the key to making vaping with nicotine fully legal in New Zealand. To date, we havent seen a lot of movement on this issue from Selesa but I encourage her to act (and not ban vaping activists on twitter - not a good look Jenny).


It should not be a leap at all to make the most successful smoking cessation tool in history, be legally confirmed, and endorsed by the New Zealand Government.

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