Business & Economy

With eye on youth, New Zealand restricts access to vapes

Sydney, Australia, June 6 (EFE).- New Zealand on Tuesday announced new restrictions on access to vaping devices with an eye on preventing young people from taking up the habit.

“Too many young people are vaping, which is why we’re making a number of moves to stop that happening,” Health Minister Ayesha Verrall said in a statement.

Starting in August, the Oceanian country will ban disposable vapes, which are “cheap” and “popular” among young people, and will impose child safety mechanisms on devices.

Names that “accurately” describe the flavors of the product, such as “berry,” will replace “enticing” names such as “cotton candy” or “strawberry jelly donut.”

In addition, new stores selling vapes and their derivatives must be located more than 300 meters away from a school or marae (Maori meeting house), according to the new restrictions that build on the ban on sales to minors under 18 years of age and other measures.

“We recognize we need to strike a balance between preventing young people from starting to vape, at the same time as having vapes available as a cessation tool for those who genuinely want to give up smoking,” said the minister, underlining progress in reducing tobacco use made in the last decade.

In recent years, the New Zealand government has pushed through several measures to curb tobacco consumption, including a law passed in December that progressively bans tobacco sales from 2027.

This law establishes that those born after Jan. 1, 2009, beginning with those who are 14 this year and turn 18 in 2027, will never be able to legally buy tobacco in the country.

In New Zealand just 8 percent of adults smoke daily, according to a survey published in November last year, down from 9.4 percent in 2021 and 16 percent 10 years ago. EFE

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