Calls to Regulate E-cigarettes in New Zealand

Calls to Regulate E-cigarettes in New Zealand
New Zealand doctors suggest making e-cigarettes prescription-only drugs following Australia's lead to address the rising youth e-cigarette use.

According to The Guardian on March 5th, several medical groups in New Zealand are calling for the country to follow Australia and classify e-cigarettes as prescription drugs. While smoking rates in New Zealand have dropped to historic lows in recent years, the proportion of underage individuals who use e-cigarettes has increased by more than three times between 2019 and 2021.

According to data released in 2022, smoking rates in New Zealand have decreased to 8%, but the daily number of people using electronic cigarettes has increased more than the decrease in daily smokers. The increase is particularly pronounced among young people, especially minors aged 14, with the proportion of daily e-cigarette users rising from 3.1% in 2019 to 9.6% in 2021.

In 2021, the Australian government introduced a law that states that vapor products containing nicotine can only be obtained through a prescription from a doctor.

Many scholars in New Zealand are advocating for the adoption of Australia's laws regulating e-cigarettes. Dr. Collin Tukuitonga, who has worked for the Ministry of Health, has said that he hopes to see the rise in youth smoking leveled off. However, if the trend continues, further restrictions may be necessary, including the possibility of making e-cigarettes available only with a prescription.

The New Zealand government is currently reviewing its e-cigarette regulations. In January of this year, Deputy Health Minister Ayesha Verrall stated that the government is consulting on amending the laws around vaping, saying that "the proportion of young people vaping is too high" and that the government "needs to strike a better balance." The proposed amendments primarily focus on limiting the sale of e-cigarettes in certain locations, reducing nicotine content, and changing packaging, rather than starting with a pharmacy or prescription model.

As previously reported by 2FIRSTS, New Zealand has become the first country in the world to implement an annual increase in the legal smoking age. On December 14, 2022, the country passed the Smoke-free Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment, which prohibits the sale of cigarettes to anyone born on or after January 1, 2009.

However, this legislation does not ban e-cigarette products. Previously, the New Zealand government had hoped to lower the maximum concentration of nicotine salts in disposable products from 50mg/mL to 35mg/mL, and also wanted e-cigarette companies to print serial numbers or batch numbers on their products for traceability purposes.

In January 2023, former New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern revealed to the media that she believes electronic cigarettes can be an effective tool to help smokers quit.


New Zealand health groups are calling for vapes to be made available only with a pharmacy prescription, according to reports.

Here is the original text of the amendment on smoke-free environments and regulated products (smoked tobacco) translated into standard journalistic English: This is the original text of the amendment that deals with smoke-free environments and regulated products, specifically smoked tobacco.

This document has been generated through artificial intelligence translation and is provided solely for the purposes of industry discourse and learning. Please note that the intellectual property rights of the content belong to the original media source or author. Owing to certain limitations in the translation process, there may be discrepancies between the translated text and the original content. We recommend referring to the original source for complete accuracy. In case of any inaccuracies, we invite you to reach out to us with corrections. If you believe any content has infringed upon your rights, please contact us immediately for its removal.