Thursday, May 23, 2024

New Zealand Government Plans to Restrict Availability of E-cigarettes

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According to the news website 1NEW on August 22nd, New Zealand Labour Party leader Chris Hipkins has promised that if re-elected, the government will limit the number of e-cigarette stores nationwide to 600, less than half of the current number. Additionally, measures will be implemented to strengthen restrictions on young people purchasing e-cigarettes, with stricter penalties for those providing e-cigarettes to minors.

Hipkins stated:

The recent surge in e-cigarette usage among teenagers is deeply concerning. It is evident that the manufacturers and sellers of e-cigarettes are specifically targeting our children, especially in economically disadvantaged communities.

The current Labour government has recently announced its plans to effectively ban the sale of disposable e-cigarettes, prohibit the opening of new stores near schools and Maori communities, and restrict the sale of e-cigarettes to individuals under the age of 18.

However, Hitchens stated that it is evident that more work still needs to be done. The accessibility of e-cigarettes is too widespread, thus stricter measures are now necessary.

According to the proposed regulations, he stated that stores, including convenience stores, will need to obtain a permit to sell e-cigarette products, and the current legal penalties for providing e-cigarettes to minors will be increased.

He said:

The licensing system can not only reduce the number of shops selling e-cigarettes but also ensure that there is no clustering of e-cigarette stores targeting schools or socioeconomically disadvantaged communities.

The Labour Party government intends to increase fines for adults who supply e-cigarette products to underage children by 100%, from up to NZD 5000 (approximately CNY 36,000) to up to NZD 10,000 (approximately CNY 72,000). Additionally, fines for retailers found selling e-cigarette products to minors will be raised from up to NZD 10,000 to up to NZD 15,000 (approximately CNY 110,000).

Health Minister Ayesha Verrall has stated that if the Labour Party is re-elected, they will strive to make e-cigarette products less prominent in stores, similar to restrictions on tobacco.

She said:

Our smoking reduction plan is proving effective as smoking rates reach an all-time low.

He assessed e-cigarettes as an important tool for helping adult smokers quit, but the number of teenagers using e-cigarettes on a daily basis has more than doubled between 2019 and 2021.

Just like our efforts to eradicate smoking, this program has the potential to truly help deter the use of e-cigarettes.

 

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