New Zealand has taken further steps to ensure that smoking and vaping is prohibited at schools and early childhood facilities.
The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Amendment Act was introduced in November last year.
The Act strikes a balance between making sure vaping products are available for smokers who want to make the switch to the less harmful alternative and ensuring that the products are not being marketed or sold to young people.
It meant that prohibition of smoking at schools, kura kaupapa, kôhanga reo and early childhood facilities now includes vaping.
These places must be smoke and vape free, indoors and outdoors for 24 hours and seven days a week.
Following on from this, ‘no vaping’ signs must be displayed at all these locations along with the already existing requirement to display ‘no smoking’ signs.
Schools are now also required to take reasonably practicable steps to ensure that no one smokes or vapes in any part of the building - whether it be inside or outside at any time of the day.
“One of the key intents of the Act – and a key commitment of our Government - is to protect our tamariki, young people and non-smokers from the risks associated with these products,” says Deputy Director of Public Health Dr Harriette Carr.
“Over the coming months, we will continue to phase in important changes – like this introduction of the 'no smoking’ and ‘no vaping’ signage – to prioritise the wellbeing of New Zealanders. As leaders in our communities, schools have a particularly important role to play.
“Their mahi and efforts – from displaying the right signage to ensuring students, staff, visitors, parents and whânau are aware of the no smoking and vaping policies and rules – will contribute to positive health outcomes for our current and future generations.”
Since the amendment of the Act came in vaping is prohibited in workplaces, schools, early childhood education and care centres.
Advertising and sponsorship in relation to vaping products is prohibited and the sale of vaping products and toy vaping products to under-18s is also prohibited.
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