New Zealand Law Society - Bill introduced to include vaping products in the Smokefree Environments Act

Bill introduced to include vaping products in the Smokefree Environments Act

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The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill was introduced on 24 February 2020. Associate Minister for Health Jenny Salesa is in charge of the bill.

The bill amends the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 to bring the provisions of the Act up-to-date and to ensure that all regulated products (tobacco smoking products, herbal smoking products, smokeless tobacco products, and vaping products) are adequately covered.

The bill aims to take a balanced approach to the regulation of vaping and smokeless tobacco products. While acknowledging that vaping and other smokeless products are less harmful than smoking, it reflects concerns about children’s and young people’s access and use of these products.

Part 1 amends the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990. Clause 5 inserts new terms into the interpretation section, replaces the definition of open area and enables current terms to apply to regulated products.

Clause 8 amends Part 1 of the Act to prohibit vaping and the use of heated tobacco products in legislated smoke free areas.

Clause 21 inserts new sections 14 and 14A. Section 14 exempts from Part 1 a person who vapes in any approved vaping premises of a specialist vape retailer and the specialist vape retailer who allows the person to vape in those premises. Section 14 (2) requires a vape retailer to take all practical steps to prevent people under 18 from entering their premises.

New part 2 provides for restrictions on advertising, promotion, and distribution of regulated products. New section 24 carries forward the current expectations from the advertising prohibition and includes new exemptions such as an approved public health message board, the display, in accordance with regulations, of vaping products in any retail store or on any Internet site, and the giving of advice and recommendations by specialist vape retailers about vaping products in the approved vaping premises.

New Part 3 contains packaging and labelling provisions. The intent is to set tailored requirements for different product types that acknowledge their different risk profiles.

New Part 4 (sections 57 to 73) contains provisions to regulate the safety of vaping products and smokeless tobacco products.


The Act, except as explained below, comes into force on the day after the day on which it receives the Royal assent.

New section 36 (which restricts the visibility of regulated products from the place of business) as inserted by section 26 comes into force 1 month after the date on which this Act receives the Royal assent.

The following provisions inserted by section26 come into force 6 months after the date on which this Act receives the Royal assent:

  • new sections 59 to 62 (which requires a manufacturer or an importer of a vaping product or smokeless tobacco product to notify the product in accordance with new Part 4 before sale in New Zealand)
  • new section 63(2) (which restricts the flavours that may be contained in vaping products sold by retailers (other than specialist vape retailers))
  • new section 73 (which requires the Director-General to establish a database for the purpose of new Part 4).