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Vaping has been banned from today, 11 November. This means the existing prohibition on smoking inside workplaces and other spaces are being extended to include vaping.
Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA) says there are other areas vapers need to respect as well.
“We encourage New Zealand’s 200,000 vapers to think a little more before they vape. The general rule is if you wouldn’t smoke there, you shouldn’t vape there. The likes of shopping malls, and around schools and childcare centres are a no-no. At the same time, many councils have made their outdoor city centre areas and council parks vape-free as well,” says Nancy Loucas, AVCA co-director.
Vape-free areas include buses, trains, taxis, rideshare services and at workplaces — just like smoke-free zones that have been present in the past. Other regions of vaping bans are at passenger queuing areas and lounges, any part of a casino, restaurant or a licensed premises that is not an open area.
Parliament initially passed the law in August, named Smoke-free Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act.
Vaping advertising is now banned, and a range of other regulations will be coming into effect over the next 15 months for the likes of retail shop owners to adhere.
According to AVCA, vaping is being treated like smoking, and they are becoming concerned over the regulations and rules to follow, where, workplaces and other spaces should be able to create their own guidelines.
“Employers will still be able to permit vaping in a company vehicle, with some very workable provisions in place. Patients in hospital care or rest home residents can vape within a dedicated room for vaping, provided there are the likes of adequate ventilation. At the same time, a good employer would dedicate an outside area to vaping, where employees feel comfortable taking a vape break,” says Nancy Loucas.
Employers must take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure that no person is allowed to vape inside at any time in a workplace unless exemptions apply. AVCA says it would be a terrible unintended result of the new vaping legislation if bad employers used the new regulations to try to ban employees from vaping even outside.
“Vaping is now effectively banned where smoking is, but it’s by no means banned outright. Instead, it’s finally a totally legalised activity for New Zealand adults, albeit now more tightly regulated,” says Nancy Loucas.