New Zealand to Ban Disposable Vapes, Hike Fines for Retailers Selling to Minors to Discourage Vaping Among Youth

By Giuliano De Leon

Mar 20, 2024 07:08 AM EDT

New Zealand announced Wednesday that it would soon ban single-use vapes and raise penalties against those who sell disposable e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes to minors. 

This effort came after the New Zealand government revoked an unusual legislation that aimed to phase out tobacco smoking through a lifetime ban on minors buying cigarettes.

Electronic vaping devices packed on a plastic bag are pictured during a visit of Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to Kent Scientific Services on May 30, 2023 in West Malling, England.
(Photo : Daniel Leal - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

New Zealand Bans Single-Use E-Cigarettes or Disposable Vapes

According to New Zealand's Associate Health Minister Casey Costello, vapes remain "a key smoking cessation device," and the new Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act will help prevent young people from taking up the habit.

"While vaping has contributed to a significant fall in our smoking rates, the rapid rise in youth vaping has been a real concern for parents, teachers and health professionals," Castello said, as ABC News reported.

The New Zealand official further noted that disposable e-cigarettes will still be a problem for the country because they are very cheap and easy to purchase.

Because of this, Costello cited the government's commitment to tackling youth vaping and driving down smoking rates to achieve the Smokefree goal of lower than 5% of the country's population smoking daily by 2025.  According to Costello, about 6.8% of the population smoked every day as of last year, TIME reported. 

Read Also: Biotech Firm ArborGen purchases Edendale Nursery in New Zealand

Financial Penalties for Selling Vapes Increase in New Zealand 

Under the new regulations, financial penalties for selling vapes will drastically increase. From a $6,000 fine, retailers caught selling regulated products like vapes and cigarettes to children under 18 years old will now be fined $60,000. 

On the other hand, individuals who sell these products to minors will be fined $600. Aside from banning vapes and increasing financial penalties, New Zealand is also set to introduce other regulations, such as a ban on vaping products "with images of cartoons or toys on the packaging and limiting flavor names to generic descriptions."

Costello said this additional smoking-related regulation will take effect on March 21. Reusable vape products also have until October 1 to include child-proofing mechanisms and removable batteries.

Read More: EU to Delay Tariffs on UK Electric Vehicles for 3 Years, Offers €3 Billion to Boost Battery Manufacturing

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