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New Zealand govt proposes legalizing e-cigarettes

Updated: 2016-08-02 14:03

WELLINGTON - The sale of e-cigarettes - used for "vaping" tobacco - is set to be legalized in New Zealand, Associate Health Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga said Tuesday.

"Currently the sale and supply of e-cigarettes containing nicotine is prohibited in New Zealand. However people are buying them online and importing directly for personal use," Lotu-Iiga said in a statement.

"The proposal is to make the sale and supply of all e-cigarettes lawful in New Zealand with appropriate controls."

Vaping has caused controversy in other countries, where critics claim it can lead to nicotine addiction, particularly among young people, and as a gateway to smoking.

The government has opened the proposal to submissions until Sept 12.

Anti-tobacco group End Smoking New Zealand welcomed the move, saying it would help the government achieve its goal of a smoke-free country by 2025.

"This will be a turning point that will have a significant impact on reducing the death and disease caused by smoking," board member Dr Murray Laugesen said in a statement.

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