E-cigarette Laws: The Difference Between America and New Zealand
Vaping is still relatively new and is surrounded by confusing messages and research, meaning that laws around the world can be vastly different, as a result. The contrasting government approaches to e-cigarettes can be seen in the laws of the US and New Zealand. While both countries have regulations in place they vary hugely and how they have been developed and changed demonstrates two distinct approaches.
While some countries have no regulations around vaping, many now do. The laws range from not allowing e-cigs to be used in certain public places to outright bans on all vaping. The regulations in some countries have been controversial, with supporters of e-cigarettes claiming that the laws are being bought in because there is a lack of distinction between using an electronic cigarette and smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes.
Vaping laws in the US
In the US the laws around vaping vary from state to state, with some opting for state wide bans, meaning you can’t vape in public or enclosed spaces, partial bans, where localities have enacted their own bans, and two states, Arkansas and New Hampshire, have only limited controls, such as not using e-cigs in educational facilities.
The laws around vaping in the US have gradually become more restrictive, with bans coming in as e-cigs have become more popular. If the trend continues vapers in the US can see even more laws surrounding e-cigs.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also brought in new rules this year. The ruling means that tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, can no longer be sold without a review of its ingredients, how they were made and potential dangers. While the FDA notes that e-cigarettes have reduced toxicity compared to conventional cigarettes, can help smokers quit or reduce their habit and are not widely used by youth, it still opted to include vaping under the rules.
Other rules enacted by the FDA include banning minors from purchasing e-cigarettes, although this rule was already in place in many states, and banning free samples. While some of the rules have been greeted with enthusiasm other have been criticised.
New Zealand’s Approach to Vaping
When vaping first began to gain popularity New Zealand took a hard stance but following research, particularly ones that show e-cigarettes help people quit smoking tobacco, it is now reconsidering the restrictions put in place.
At the moment, vaping is allowed but there are restrictions in place on where you may use the devices and liquids containing nicotine are banned. However, in principle, the New Zealand government has agreed that nicotine e-cigarettes should be legally available for sale with some controls in place.
The reconsideration follows a policy papers from the Ministry of Health that noted that using e-cig exclusively was “significantly less harmful than smoking” and that evidence was increasingly suggesting that “e-cigarette use may substantially reduce the burden of disease caused by smoking”. The suggested controls around nicotine e-liquid include prohibiting sales to people under 18 years old, restricting advertising e-cigarettes and not allowing e-cig devices to be used in areas defined as smoke free.
New Zealand’s approach demonstrates how governments can adapt their policy towards vaping as new research comes in.
Developing Vaping Regulations
The difference between US and New Zealand is evident but there are some similarities too. One major concern in both the US and New Zealand is that vaping could encourage more young people could take it up and lead to them becoming addicted to nicotine. However, research suggests that there while teens are using e-cigs they are simply vaping flavourings. According to a study from the University of Michigan, two-thirds of adolescents that use e-cigarettes don’t vape nicotine at all.
It’s also clear that both the US and New Zealand government are keeping an eye on research on vaping and as more becomes available they’re likely to shift their approach to reflect the new information. As governments around the world contend with vaping, different strategies for regulating the growing industry are likely to emerge and change.
Tags: e-cigarettes US, e-cigarettes New Zealand, vaping laws, vaping restriction,
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