While vaping laws in some countries continue to grow more restrictive, other parts of the world are starting to take a different strategy to regulating e-cigarettes. These conflicting approaches are perfectly illustrated in the neighboring nations of New Zealand and Australia. This entry in our Vaper’s Travel Guide will discuss the rapidly evolving state of vaping in Western Oceania.
Vaping Laws in the Lands Down Under
As recently as two years ago, both New Zealand and Australia had far harsher vaping laws than North American countries. Although Australia’s vaping regulations remain restrictive, New Zealand’s government has gone in the opposite direction thanks largely to the release of a documentary called “A Billion Lives,” which exposes the truth behind misleading anti-vaping campaigns.
Vaping Laws in Australia
Nicotine has long been classified as a poison in Australia. Therefore, only nicotine free e liquid is permitted for sale and purchase in Australia. Ironically, traditional cigarettes remain legal despite the fact that tobacco products contain nicotine, and research continues to suggest they are far more dangerous than e-cigs. Vapers in most parts of the country can import a 3-month supply of e-liquids containing nicotine for personal use; in Queensland, however, possession and import of such e-liquids remains prohibited. Like the US, other rules regarding where you can vape differ from state to state. Oz Vapour has made an Infographic detailing the specifics of each state’s e-cigarette laws.
Vaping Laws in New Zealand
Before 2017, vaping laws in New Zealand were similar to those in Australia. While nic-free e-liquids were allowed, vapor products containing nicotine could not be sold within the country. While such laws remain on the books, they are quickly changing.
After the country hosted the international premiere of “A Billion Lives,” New Zealand health ministers started calling for a radical shift in policy: Instead of prohibiting e-cigs, they wanted to promote them as a strategy for tobacco harm reduction. After all, since tobacco remains legal, smokers should have access to a safer alternative that may be able to help them beat their tobacco addiction.
Therefore, anyone over 18 in New Zealand will soon be able to purchase and possess e-liquids with nicotine. On top of setting standards for product safety, new policies also limit the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes to minors, and vaping remains banned in workplaces or anywhere else that smoking isn’t allowed.
Related: The Quest for Tobacco Harm Reduction
The Future of Vaping Down Under
The New Zealand Ministry of Health has a webpage detailing the government’s plan to “legalise the sale and supply of nicotine e-cigarettes and e-liquid as consumer products.” Sadly, Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration recently doubled down on their federal regulations, so vaping laws in Australia are likely to remain strict upon for the foreseeable future.