Current Vaping Laws in NZ You Need to Know in 2021

Current Vaping Laws in NZ You Need to Know in 2021

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Vaping rules and regulations in New Zealand are changing all the time, which means it’s not always easy to keep up with what’s expected of you as a vaper or as someone selling vape products. If you’re curious about the vaping laws and policies we have in Aotearoa, you can find some of this information below. 

All Workplaces Can Make Their Own Policies

If you’ve ever wondered why you can vape in the outdoor area of one business and not another, then it’s because all businesses and workplaces can make their own vaping policies. All they have to do is meet the minimum requirements of the law. 

As there can be a lot of rules to abide by if you do allow vaping, many businesses find it easier to include ‘vapefree’ on their smokefree policy. Some will enable you to vape in designated smoking areas with smokers. 

The goal for any employer is to strike a balance between helping those who might be trying to quit smoking by allowing vaping and catering to those who make have vaping sensitivities. 

All Smokefree Indoor Workplaces Must Also Be Vapefree

From November 11, 2020, all Smokefree indoor workplaces, including bars and restaurants, had to be Vapefree. This means that if you want to vape at a business, you have to make sure it has a designated outdoor area or refrain from vaping on the premises. 

The easiest thing to do as a vaper is ask a business owner or employee what their policy is when you enter their store. Don’t just assume that they provide a vape-friendly space. 

You Must Be 18 to Buy Vape Products

Just as you must be 18 to purchase cigarettes, you must be 18 to buy vape products and e-liquid, even if it doesn’t contain any nicotine. This law also applies to the indirect supply of vaping products to anyone under the age of 18. 

This law forms part of the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act 2020, which amended the Smokefree Environments Act of 1990. 

Vape Stockists must Follow Safety Regulations

Some of the latest vaping rules and regulations came into effect on August 11, 2021. These apply to manufacturers, importers, retailers, and specialist vape retailers. Even if you’re only someone who buys vape products, there’s no harm in understanding what the people you purchase from have to do to provide a safe sales experience. 

Manufacturers and Importers

Manufacturers and importers must follow strict packaging laws, with safety messages and health warnings. Manufacturers and importers must also provide their retailers with a price list and information on requirements about vaping product safety. 

There is also a requirement for them to submit product notifications, do annual reporting and returns, and pay all fees relating to the sale of vape products. 

Retailers and Specialist Vape Retailers

The Ministry of Health Vaping Regulatory Authority has also placed some onus on retailers and specialist vape retailers. They must provide harm reduction notices, availability of vaping product notices, and R18 notices at each point of sale. 

The safety regulations also mean that specialist vape retailers and standard retailers have to understand the requirements around vaping product safety, only sell notified vaping products, provide annual reporting and returns, and pay any related fees. 

Vaping is Banned At Educational Facilities

The Smokefree Environment and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendments Act 2020 makes it against the law to vape at schools, care centres, early childhood education facilities, kura kaupapa, and kōhanga reo. There is a legal requirement for no vaping signage on every entrance. 

This law applies to everyone on the grounds and in buildings, such as students, workers, teachers, parents, caregivers, contractors, and even members of the public using the grounds outside of school hours. Educational facilities management may be fined up to $4,000 if they don’t comply with the act. 

Vape Products Can’t Be Advertised

When vaping first became popular, it wasn’t uncommon to see ads appear on the TV, in newspapers, and other public places. However, the laws around tobacco product advertisements was extended to vaping on November 11, 2020. 

Vape retailers aren’t allowed to encourage the use of vape products, promote their sale, or notify their availability. However, vape retailers can provide their existing customers with communications about vape products. 

General retailers are allowed to identify products for sale and their prices, alongside encouraging smokers to try less harmful products. However, they can’t encourage the use of vape products, promote their sale, or notify the availability of vaping products. 

Specialist vape retailers can talk to their customers about their products, provide guidance on safe use, and advise on what’s available for purchase. 

Keep Up With The Law

If you’re a new vaper who doesn’t quite know what the law entails regarding vaping, don’t be afraid to ask. The friendly team at Vapourium will be more than happy to enlighten you on where you can vape, where you can’t vape, and what your favourite suppliers can and can’t do.


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