Legislation (New Zealand)

Current legislation of E-cigarettes in New Zealand 

The Medicines Act 1981 (Medicines Act) and the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 (SFEA) regulate the sale, advertising and use of E-cigarettes and the liquids used in E-cigarettes.


It is illegal to sell an E-cigarette in New Zealand (with or without nicotine) while making a therapeutic claim (eg, claims to help smokers quit) because neither  E - cigarettes nor the liquids used in them have not been approved for therapeutic use.


The Medicines Act regulates medicines and nicotine as a scheduled substance. No nicotine-containing E-cigarettes have been put forward for approval under the Medicines Act. Only approved medicines can be advertised and sold.

It is also illegal to advertise an overseas website where people can purchase nicotine-containing E-cigarettes or e-liquids.


Nicotine-containing E-cigarette products are tobacco products if they are manufactured from tobacco. The SFEA regulates the sale, supply and advertising of tobacco products.


The SFEA specifically prohibits the sale of tobacco products for other oral use (other than smoking). The use of tobacco-derived nicotine-containing e-cigarette falls within this definition and the sale of these products are prohibited.


Finally, the SFEA provides that products that look like tobacco products (toy tobacco products) and that can be used to simulate smoking, must not be sold to persons under the age of 18. Apart from this requirement, nicotine-free e-cigarettes can be sold freely in New Zealand.


Under The Medicines Act and the SFEA, people can import nicotine-containing E-cigarette products for their own use only. This is generally considered to be up to a 3 months' supply. These imported products cannot be supplied, sold or be given away to anyone else.