Ministry of Health Calls for Nominations for Electronic Cigarette Technical Expert Advisory Group


[From the Ministry of Health media release -]


The Government intends to introduce an electronic cigarette regulatory scheme. The Ministry of Health is seeking nominations for members of the Technical Expert Advisory Group, Electronic Cigarette Product Safety.

This group will provide advice on the technical aspects of the development of the regulatory scheme, such as appropriate minimum quality and safety standards in the New Zealand context. These standards include manufacturing, ingredients, labelling and packaging.

We are looking for nominees who have:

  • an understanding of the international market for alternative tobacco and nicotine-delivery products
  • an understanding of the e-cigarette and e-liquid market in New Zealand
  • an understanding of the manufacture, importation, and/or retail sale of e-cigarettes and e-liquid
  • knowledge of regulatory developments for e-cigarettes and e-liquid internationally
  • knowledge of the risks and benefits associated with the use of e-cigarettes
  • a consumer perspective on the use of e-cigarettes.

Download the Technical Expert Advisory Group Terms of Reference (Word, 35 KB)

Please forward nominations to

Nominations close 5pm, Friday 9 June 2017. Please include the nominee’s name and occupation, contact details, and curriculum vitae. The names of two referees should also be provided.


MEDIA RELEASE: For Immediate Release


29 March 2017




Today’s announcement by the New Zealand Associate Minister of Health, Hon Nicky Wagner that the sale of nicotine e-cigarettes and e-liquids will be made legal is welcomed by vapers around the world.


“This is fantastic news and while the Government is taking a cautious approach and introducing various controls, it certainly reinforces the view that vaping is safer than smoking, said Mr QJ Satchell, President of New Zealand Vaping Alliance.


“Today New Zealand stepped up on the global stage and became a leader in recognising harm-reduction over a closed-minded approach of hoping e-cigarettes would go away,” said Mr Satchell.


“We have been a strong and consistent voice in the debate on vaping, encouraging the Government to legalise a product that tens of thousands of Kiwis enjoy and use to stop smoking cigarettes. Now retailers have confidence that they will no longer be breaking a law that was unenforceable.”


The New Zealand Government is to be congratulated for today’s announcement and with its approach to nicotine e-cigarettes.





For Immediate Release - 23 November 2016





The New Zealand Vaping Community has helicoptered into Kaikoura much needed e-cigarettes and e-liquid supplies for vapers suffering the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and its aftershocks.


“A rallying cry went out to the major players in the New Zealand vaping community asking for support and a few of the lads managed to scrape together a relief package, including 100 e-cigarette starter kits and e-liquids,” said QJ Satchell, President of the New Zealand Vaping Alliance.


“We all know the stress is a significant trigger for smokers, so to hear that many smokers are now facing out-of-stocks of tobacco products in Kaikoura at a time their lives are in such disarray, made the decision to help them pretty easy,” said Mr Satchell.


“One company that supplied product was who said their motivation has always been to help smokers get off tobacco, and it seemed only natural that we find a way to get some e-cigarettes and e-liquids to those in need.


“The last few years has shown me that the New Zealand vaping community is always happy to help other vapers and smokers. This is a great community that I am proud to be a part of, as are the other suppliers who have very generously donated to this initiative,” said Mr Satchell.


The supplies are being flown in by helicopter by the team Te Runga o Ngai Tahu.








Sunday 11 September 2016





The New Zealand Vaping Alliance is calling on the Government to quickly make nicotine e-cigarettes and e-liquids legally available for sale and supply in New Zealand.  


The Ministry of Health’s Consultation on E-cigarettes closes tomorrow.


“We implore the Government to give legal force to the sale of these products instead of waiting possibly 18 months plus for legislative changes to crawl through the Parliamentary process, said QJ Satchell, President of the New Zealand Vaping Alliance.


“Vapers around the country want to be able to buy nicotine e-cigarettes and e-liquids from retailers in New Zealand, not have to buy from overseas vendors and wait for potentially weeks for delivery. Vapers are very pleased the Government has made this announcement, but waiting another year or two doesn’t make sense to them,” said Mr Satchell.


“The current situation is untenable with some suppliers openly selling nicotine e-cigarettes and nicotine e-liquids, while responsible retailers and product suppliers are placed at a competitive disadvantage as they abide by the current legislative requirements.


“NZVA believes it a sensible regulatory regime is appropriate for e-cigarettes, and welcomes the Ministry of Health’s consultation process. But a swift decision on the sale of nicotine containing e-cigarettes and e-liquids is urgently needed.”


“We believe this focus will achieve the Ministry’s policy objectives of reducing harm from tobacco smoking by providing a safer alternative product for smokers; prevent harm from e-cigarettes through the introduction of appropriate product standards and purchase age of 18 plus; and similarly the introduction of product standards will address issues associated with product safety.


“This approach will support the Ministry efforts to maximise the potential benefits of e-cigarettes and minimise potential risks to smokers and to the wider population”, Mr Satchell said.





MEDIA RELEASE: For Immediate Release

3 December 2015




The New Zealand Vaping Alliance today called upon the Ministry of Health to stand by its ‘draft’ advice to healthcare workers about e-cigarettes and publicly release it in the interests of public health.


“We support the comments made in the draft paper ‘How healthcare workers may want to respond to questions from patients about electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes)’ which we have seen as a result of it being posted on Twitter, and believe the Ministry should back themselves and release the advice so patients can have accurate information on e-cigarettes,” said Mr QJ Satchell, President of the NZ Vaping Alliance.


“We are very pleased to see the MOH publicly acknowledge – for the first time, the recent Public Health England Report on e-cigarettes. One of the lead authors of this authoritative and internationally acclaimed report was the Ministry of Health’s very own clinical advisor Dr Hayden McRobbie.”


“The NZVA recognise that the ‘advice’ was in draft form, but believe that healthcare workers and vapers should be able to see this advice.” said Mr Satchell.


“We believe the information contained in this ‘advice’ will be welcomed by the thousands of New Zealanders who are using e-cigarettes and vaping, and who are looking for information based on sound science and robust evidence – such as the Public Health England report.”


“As such we will be posting it on our website as ‘Advice to New Zealanders About E-cigarettes,” said Mr Satchell.


“New Zealand needs a public debate on e-cigarettes and vaping and we call upon the government to hold a public inquiry into e-cigarettes that, like the UK Government, allows the latest evidence to be put forward,” Mr Satchell said.





Background Notes to Editors



  • The NZVA is a New Zealand based advocacy group that seeks to increase awareness and understanding of e-cigarettes and vaping issues.
  • The New Zealand Vaping Alliance is comprised of a group of New Zealand’s leading e-cigarette retailers and keen vaping enthusiasts concerned with the absence of a collective voice on e-cigarette use and vaping community issues.
  • The New Zealand Vaping Alliance website will become a depository of information on the e-cigarette / juice market for media, interested stakeholders (including public health groups) and policy makers. We will also be seeking a more proactive media presence on issues impacting the e-cigarette market and the vaping community.  
  • In August 2015, the UK Government’s Public Health England released an expert review of the latest evidence (180 published references) concluding that e-cigarettes are around 95% safer than smoked tobacco and they can help smokers to quit.
  • The Public Health England report said that ‘e-cigarette released negligible levels of nicotine into ambient air with no identified health risks to bystanders’ and that ‘the risk to the health of bystanders from exposure to vapour from nicotine vapourisers is extremely low’.
  • This PHE report is supported by leading public health groups including the Royal College of Physicians, British Lung Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Action of Smoking and Health, Royal Society for Public Health to name but a few.






The New Zealand Vaping Alliance believes that a seismic shift is occurring in New Zealand as a significant number of smokers look to e-cigarettes as a way to reduce health risks associated with cigarette smoking.


NZVA believes that existing legislation covering e-cigarettes is inadequate for these products. We believe that the evidence is increasingly showing that e-cigarettes have an important role in harm reduction and as a result, public health benefits.


NZVA believes that regulators should look at introducing a separate regulatory framework including age restrictions and product standards for e-cigarettes and e-liquid products that meet appropriate standards.


The following information is based on a draft Ministry of Health document, ‘How healthcare workers may want to respond to questions from patients about electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes)’ that was recently posted on Twitter as a result of a request for information under the Official Information Act.


NZVA is greatly encouraged by this Ministry document, and although only a ‘draft’, it certainly represents significant movement from the Ministry on e-cigarettes, and in our view should be supported.


It is on this basis that NZVA believes New Zealanders should be aware of this Q&A information. It is presented here in full.


Q:  Are there health benefits in switching from tobacco cigarettes to e-cigarettes?

A:  The expert opinion is that e-cigarettes are safer than smoking tobacco[[1]], and there is some evidence to show that using e-cigarettes in place of smoking tobacco cigarettes is a good choice. Stopping smoking reduces the risk of many illnesses.


Q: Why are e-cigarettes not available like nicotine gum, lozenges and patches?

A:  Nicotine gum, lozenges and patches are medicines, which have been assessed and approved by   

Medsafe for sale to help people stop smoking. Manufacturers of e-cigarettes could, if they wanted, apply to Medsafe for an assessment of their e-cigarettes as medicines, but they have not so far.


Q: I’ve heard that toxic substances have been found in the e-cigarette vapour. Is this true?

A:  A number of toxicants have been found in e-cigarette vapour. However, when e-cigarettes are used within normal operating levels (e.g. not overheated), these toxicants are at very low levels, many times less than tobacco smoke [1].


Q: Is second hand vapour dangerous?

A: There is no current evidence that second hand vapour is dangerous. However, you should be       respectful when using e-cigarettes around others. Some studies have found traces of toxicants in second hand vapour but at such low levels they do not pose a health risk. Second hand tobacco smoke on the other hand is associated with an increased risk to health.


Q: Can I use e-cigarettes in places where I cannot smoke?

A:  There is currently no legislation around this. Some organisations do not allow vaping (the use of e-cigarette) in their places (e.g. on aeroplanes, in hospitals); be respectful and ask first.


Q: Is it OK to smoke and vape at the same time?

A:  There is no current evidence to suggest that smoking cigarettes and vaping at the same time increase health risks. However, the greatest health benefits are seen when people stop smoking completely, so this should be the goal. Some people manage to switch completely to vaping quickly, whilst others take a little time. You may have to try a number of different e-cigarettes and e-liquids before you find the one that enables you to stop smoking completely.


Q:  Can I buy e-cigarettes in New Zealand?

A:  It is not illegal to sell e-cigarettes in New Zealand. Nicotine solutions or e-cigarettes containing nicotine are illegal in New Zealand, you can purchase nicotine-containing e-cigarettes from overseas websites for your own personal use to stop smoking.


In light of significant public health support for these products, NZVA believes New Zealand smokers should be able to purchase in-store e-cigarettes containing nicotine liquid.


Q: Which e-cigarette should I start with?

A:  This is very much a personal choice. The refillable tank system electronic cigarettes generally deliver more nicotine than the e-cigarettes that look like cigarettes[2].


Q: How do I choose a flavour?

A:  This is again a personal choice. Many people start with tobacco flavour, or menthol flavour if you smoke menthol cigarettes. People usually try a few different flavours until they find the one that suits them.


Q: Does the Ministry of Health recommend e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid?

A:  The Ministry does not consider the evidence strong enough to recommend e-cigarettes as cessation aids[[3]]. Until more conclusive evidence is available, the Ministry’s advice to people is to use approved stop smoking medicines such as gum, patches and lozenges or bupropion, nortriptyline and varenicline. The chances of quitting are greater is you use these medicines in combination with support available from the Quitline or local smoking cessation service. No e-cigarette has yet been approved as a stop smoking medicine.


The vaping ban by Otago University sadly shows the University is out of touch with the latest research on e-cigarettes and vaping says the New Zealand Vaping Alliance.


“It is very surprising to hear Otago University’s HR director Kevin Seales scaremongering about risks of e-cigarettes, and that vaping attracts non smokers to vaping and then onto cigarettes when the  overwhelming evidence completely dismisses those views,” said NZVA President QJ Satchell.


“Only last month the UK Government’s Public Health England released an expert review of the latest evidence concluding that e-cigarettes are around 95% safer than smoked tobacco and they can help smokers to quit.”[1]


The Public Health England report said that ‘e-cigarette released negligible levels of nicotine into ambient air with no identified health risks to bystanders’ and that ‘the risk to the health of bystanders from exposure to vapour from nicotine vapourisers is extremely low’.


“We’re not sure who Mr Seales has spoken to, because according to Michael Siegal, Professor at Boston University’s School of Public Health and leader in tobacco control has said that “the gateway hypothesis (that e-cigarette use leads to people taking up cigarette smoking) is a myth. The primary reason people use e-cigarettes is to quit or cut back on smoking conventional cigarettes,” said Mr Satchell.


The NZ Vaping Alliance believes that a vaping ban is a step in the wrong direction, and is calling on Otago University to reconsider its vaping ban as the move risking causing more harm than good.


“Increasingly, the evidence is showing that more and more New Zealanders are quitting smoking by using e-cigarettes, which has to be a good thing. But putting barriers in their way by way of vaping bans is certainly not welcomed nor warranted,” Mr Satchell said.