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The Foundation's position on Vaping

The best thing that you can do for your respiratory health is to be smokefree and vape free.

The Foundation acknowledges that vaping, along with wraparound quit smoking support, may help some people to quit tobacco cigarettes.

We recognise that the Ministry of Health needs to balance the availability of vape products as a quit smoking tool, with protecting young people and non-smokers from the harms of vaping.

We believe that currently this balance is off, and that more regulations are needed to protect young New Zealanders from these harms.

The Foundation welcomes recent proposals from the Government to tighten restrictions around vaping. However, we are continuing to push for the following measures:

  • Greater restrictions on maximum nicotine concentrations: We need to follow the European Union’s lead and restrict the maximum nicotine concentrations allowed in all vapes to 20mg/ml. The current minimum level is 50mg/ml.
  • Greater enforcement of the current rules, so that young people cannot access vapes so readily and stronger penalties for those breaking the rules.
  • Limit the number of retailers who can sell vapes, and keep vaping stores out of the immediate vicinity of schools.
  • Close the loophole that allows dairies and convenience stores to operate as Specialist Vaping Retailers (SVR) by cornering off part of their premises.

Read more about the Foundation’s position in this opinion piece by our CE Letitia Harding.

What are we doing?

The Foundation has been advocating strongly for greater restrictions around vaping since these products first became available in New Zealand. After seeing the rapid uptake of vaping in young people overseas, the Foundation wanted to ensure that rules were in place to protect our rangatahi from the harms of vaping. We continue to make submissions on this issue, advocate to the Ministry and Government and share our concerns in the media. See our media releases on vaping here.

We developed a vaping information website aimed at young people, their parents and teachers. Since its launch in 2019 the Don’t Get Sucked In website has had hundreds of thousands of views. We created a video resource in 2022 ‘Spotlight on Vaping’ where New Zealand health experts shared their knowledge of vaping and its harms. This can be viewed on the Don’t Get Sucked In website here.

In 2021, we carried out an extensive survey looking at the vaping habits of young people in New Zealand to provide further data and insights on this issue.

The Foundation has made submissions to the Government on vaping legislation including the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Bill 2020.

Read the Foundation's submission on the Proposals for the Smoked Tobacco Regulatory Regime here.

Find out more about vaping here.