Contributed by: Craig Shrive, Ben Gregson, and Victoria Piatov
Published on: January 27, 2021
The Ministry of Health (Ministry) is now consulting on proposed regulations under the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990 (Act).
The regulations will provide operational detail for the new vaping regulatory regime under the Act, particularly around the use of harm reduction statements and display of vaping products in retail stores, packaging and labelling requirements, and product safety standards. Once finalised, the regulations are expected to take effect in August 2021.
The substance of the proposals contains few surprises and provides further evidence of the Ministry's relatively liberal stance on vaping products, and belief that they are materially less harmful than smoking. With that said, the following proposals are likely to be of interest to retailers and industry stakeholders:
No in store display restrictions for vaping products.
The strength of nicotine in vaping substances to not exceed 20 mg/mL for free-base nicotine, and 50 mg/mL for nicotine salts.
That it is appropriate for a person to be approved as a specialist vape retailer under the lower sales threshold of 60 percent if the store is located in a rural location where access to vaping products is limited (the Ministry is inviting views on this position – it is not proposing regulations at this point).
Tailored packaging requirements for vaping products and smokeless tobacco products that acknowledge the relatively low risk of these products compared with smoked tobacco products. These requirements align closely with packaging regulations for vaping products sold in the United Kingdom and the European Union.
Manufacturers and importers of vaping products will have to provide pre-market notification to the Ministry that their products comply with the product safety standards set out in Appendix A to the consultation document. These standards align closely with those for vaping products sold in the United Kingdom and the European Union.
Consultation on the proposed regulations closes at 5 pm on 15 March 2021. You can access the Ministry's consultation document here and the proposed product safety standards here.
Further information on how to make a submission on the consultation document is available here.
Partner, Public Law and Regulation