New Zealand’s new Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has pledged to continue the previous government’s plan to combat cheap disposable e-cigarettes. According to a report from New Zealand’s Stuff, Luxon confirmed in a cabinet media briefing in Wellington that new regulations will be gradually implemented starting from December 21st. These regulations include prohibiting the establishment of new e-cigarette retailers near schools and Māori meeting grounds (Marae), as well as allowing only generic flavor descriptions on e-cigarette products and their packaging. In addition, there is a requirement to lower the maximum nicotine content allowed in disposable e-cigarettes and ensure that all e-cigarette products have removable batteries and child safety devices. His government also plans to increase penalties for those who sell e-cigarettes to individuals under the age of 18.
This decision was made on the basis of leading legislation that had previously banned the sale of tobacco to anyone born after January 1, 2009. The legislation specified the allowable nicotine levels in tobacco and drastically reduced the number of retailers able to sell tobacco by over 90%, effectively creating the first smoke-free generation.
Luxon stated that he intends to maintain the current state of smoking as it is proving effective, and smoking rates have consistently decreased over the past decade. “We will continue to focus on reducing the smoking rate… We will persist in driving these efforts,” he stated.