New Zealand Government Neglects E-Liquid Regulation, Thousands of Retailers at Risk

Regulations by 2FIRSTS.ai
Apr.10
New Zealand Government Neglects E-Liquid Regulation, Thousands of Retailers at Risk
Thousands of e-liquid retailers in New Zealand may escape legal consequences due to lack of government oversight.

According to the New Zealand media nzdoctor on April 10, if the New Zealand government continues to turn a blind eye and invest in the wrong areas, thousands of e-liquid retailers may potentially operate outside the law. Letitia Harding, CEO of the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ, stated that the news of Health Ministry layoffs was regrettable but not surprising.

 

According to our understanding, they are not the ones enforcing the law on the thousands of e-liquid retailers. What we hope to see is the government shifting its focus towards investing in this area.

 

A survey conducted last year revealed that the Department of Health's e-liquid Regulatory Authority (VRA) has only one full-time employee, while the regulatory manager works only 10 hours per week, equivalent to a total of three-and-a-half full-time employees.

 

The foundation visited an e-liquid retailer last week and observed many non-compliant products. Hardin stated that the government has not committed to limiting the number of specialist e-liquid retailers (SVRs), of which there are currently 1530, so there is a need for continued investment in e-liquid compliance.

 

They need to invest in people who conduct door-to-door product inspections to ensure all products meet regulatory requirements. Perhaps this task should not fall on the Department of Health, but instead be handled by the Department of Legal Affairs, similar to how alcohol selling venues are regulated. Without this investment, our young people will continue to be addicted to e-cigarettes.

 

According to information provided to the foundation under the Official Information Act (OIA), the e-liquid regulatory authority has initiated an investigation into a company that operates two e-liquid websites for failing to comply with new e-liquid laws. This investigation comes after examining 29 websites to ensure compliance with safety requirements, including the company's failure to include removable batteries with products, not meeting nicotine strength labeling requirements, and not installing child safety mechanisms.

 

In order to protect the company's right to a fair trial, the Health Department has not disclosed the name and website domain of the company. The department has confirmed that no fines have been issued to date, but stated that "violations are not necessarily punishable offenses" in this case.

 

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