The New Zealand Initiative’s latest vaping report Smoke and Vapour provides great insights into the now common-place smoking alternative and takes a common-sense approach to where vaping can be enjoyed, saidNadine Mehlhopt, Advocacy and Policy Manager for Hospitality New Zealand.

“In the hospitality sector we are increasingly seeing more and more of our customers vaping,” she said. “In fact, it is becoming the new normal compared to smoking.”

Vaping is currently accommodated under the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 and operators generally have a policy that vaping can only be enjoyed in designated smoking areas.

“We are very supportive of the report, which provides an excellent insight into vaping in New Zealand but also takes a common-sense approach to where vaping can and should occur,” she said.

The report also addresses the nuisance aspects of vaping but suggests that these aspects do not need to be covered by law, and it ought to be up to individual businesses to decide whether they will allow vaping inside their premises.

“Where people vape is something our members have managed very pragmatically since it became mainstream and the general policy is that vaping can take place in designated smoking areas.  No-one particularly wants to be vaped on by someone at the neighbouring table while enjoying a meal out and that’s why vaping largely stays in a designated space”.

Opposition MP Nicky Wagner recently submitted a Private Members Bill to Parliament which proposes the banning of vaping in smoke-free areas on the basis that these spaces were originally designed to provide spaces that shielded bystanders from second-hand smoke. However, vaping does not come with the same negative consequences.

“We would not support this proposal and don’t believe this is something that needs to be legislated against when operators around the country already manage this issue very well. Additionally, there may be operators who might like to be vape-friendly in the future and banning vaping in smoke-free areas, which is always the larger part of a venue, would make that impossible to do.”