Right now New Zealand electronic cigarette laws dictate that a vaper can import e-cigarettes or e-liquids with nicotine for personal use. No one or no business is allowed to distribute or sell e-cigs with nicotine. That is going to change next year. The government of New Zealand has set an ambitious goal of a smoke free nation by 2025. In order to help achieve their goal for a healthier society, the government recognizes that vaping can help them to achieve their lofty goals.
Mickey Wagner, the Associate Health Minister, said that the scientific evidence on the safety of e-cigarettes is still developing but there is a general consensus that vaping is much less harmful than smoking. She said “This ensures smokers have access to a lower risk alternative.” This realization falls on the heels of a massive and growing body of evidence supporting the argument that vaping is less harmful than smoking. The Public Health England e-cig study and the determinations of the Royal College of Physicians among them.
And there is even better news for New Zealand smokers seeking to be smoke free. The government of New Zealand is excluding vapor products from tobacco taxes. A much more intelligent approach that that taken by California where e-cigs have been slammed by massive taxes. In New Zealand, they want smokers to find that e-cigs are much less expensive than tobacco so they will choose a less harmful alternative. Kind of begs the question of what California law makers have been smoking. If you want to reduce tobacco harm don’t attack a harm reduction alternative product.
Also, e-cigarettes and e-liquids in New Zealand will not have any packaging restrictions. So New Zealand vaping laws will be a commons sense set of regulations. The goal is to reduce smoking. We wish New Zealand every success in their goal to be smoke free by 2025. We are pleased that they wisely recognize that e-cigarettes are an ally and not an enemy. US lawmakers, this is what common sense looks like.