New Zealand to ban disposable vapes

On Tuesday, New Zealand issued a ban on disposable vapes, increasing its grip on smoking as it gradually implements a near-total ban on tobacco sales.

According to Health Minister Ayesha Verrall, disposable vapes—defined as those without removable or replaceable batteries—will be prohibited starting in August.

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“Too many young people are vaping, which is why we’re making a number of moves to stop that happening,” she said in a statement.

According to her, new vape stores won’t be permitted close to marae, or Maori gathering places, or schools.

Names like “cotton candy” and “strawberry jelly donut” will be barred, the minister added, in favour of generic equivalents such as “berry”.

She added that vapes will also require a kid safety feature.

According to Verrall, the government sought to strike a compromise between forbidding young people from using vapes and permitting adults to use them as a smoking cessation tool.

New Zealand declared six months ago that it would raise the smoking age by one year until it reached the entire population, effectively making cigarettes permanently inaccessible to everyone who is now under the age of 14.

In New Zealand, only 8% of adults smoke, which is already a very low percentage.

But Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said the new vape restrictions were needed for the young.

“We have heard from parents, teachers and principals concerned that a life-long bad habit is being established for many at a young age,” Hipkins said.

Nearly one in five school-aged teenagers vape at least once a day in New Zealand, according to a 2021 study by the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation.

The prohibition on disposable vapes comes one month after Australia enacted similar legislation, accusing tobacco companies of purposefully focusing on youngsters to hook the next “generation of nicotine addicts.”

E-cigarettes were once marketed as a less dangerous alternative to regular cigarettes that were laden with carcinogens when they were first released in the early 2000s.

However, a growing body of research has revealed that vapes can also be extremely addictive. As a result, youthful users frequently turn to cigarettes to satisfy their nicotine cravings.

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