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Specialist vape store developments during the implementation of New Zealand’s Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act 2020
  1. Andrea Boston1,
  2. Lindsay Robertson2,
  3. Janet Hoek3
  1. 1 Regional Public Health, Hutt Valley District Health Board, Hutt Valley, Wellington, New Zealand
  2. 2 Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  3. 3 Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Professor Janet Hoek, Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand; janet.hoek{at}

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Aggressive, youth-oriented advertising of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) caught many governments by surprise and led several to regulate how these products are marketed. New Zealand’s (NZ) Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act (the Act), enacted in November 2020,1 addressed the regulatory void that existed from mid-20182 by (among other things) regulating ENDS’ advertising and promotion, distribution and flavours, and aimed to stem rising ENDS use among young people. For example, a repeat cross-sectional survey found that, among NZ 14–15 year olds, trial rose from 20.8% in 2014 to 37.3% in 2019, and regular use increased from 3.5% in 2015 to 12.0% in 2019.3 Further, a cross-sectional study of 13- to 18-year-old young people found that nearly half (49%) of those who reported vaping regularly had never smoked.4

The Act aims to discourage non-smokers, especially young people, from using vaping or other regulated products.1 One provision classifies retail outlets as either generic or specialist, according to the proportion of sales accounted for by vaping products. While specialist outlets may sell an unrestricted e-liquid flavour range, generic stores (typically convenience stores and petrol stations) may sell only tobacco, mint or menthol-flavoured e-liquids. Currently, both specialist vape stores and generic retailers may display ENDS at the point-of-sale; however, limiting the flavours generic retailers may sell to tobacco, …

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  • Contributors AB identified the phenomenon studied. JH developed a study protocol with support from LR. AB, JH and LR undertook store observations. AB prepared an initial draft of the results; JH developed the final MS, on which LR and AB provided feedback. JH responded to the reviewers’ comments. All authors have reviewed and approved the submitted MS.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.