The best thing you can do for your health is to be Smokefree and Vapefree. Vaping is not for children, teens and non-smokers. Vapes can help some people quit smoking.

What is vaping?


Vaping is the process of breathing in the vapour produced by a vape or e-cigarette.

Vapes are battery-powered devices that heat and vaporise liquid usually made of nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerine, and flavourings. 

There are many kinds of vapes and smokeless tobacco products, with more being developed all the time.

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Vape pen Vape pen

Is vaping safe?


  • Vaping is not harmless, but it is less harmful than smoking tobacco. If you do not smoke, do not vape.
  • Vaping may damage your lungs.
  • We do not know the long-term risks of vaping. More research is needed to understand the impact of vaping on our health. 

Vaping and Rangatahi

Young people who do not smoke should not vape.

Vaping is for those people who want to quit smoking.

Young people are experimenting with vaping. Some vapes have nicotine, this can lead to a dependence on nicotine.

As vapes are addictive and can damage the lungs, they are not appropriate for rangitahi to use. The long-term health impacts of vaping are not known.

If you are worried about your child vaping or they are vaping to quit smoking, you can seek support from a stop smoking service, Quitline, your doctor or practice nurse.

There are rules set out to protect the public and young people. Some key ones are:

  • It is illegal to sell or supply vaping products to anyone under 18 years old.
  • Vaping is not allowed in and around schools, kura kaupapa, kōhanga reo and early childhood education, and care centres.
  • Vaping is not allowed inside workplaces, public transport, or vehicles carrying children under 18 years.
  • Vapes and heated tobacco are sold at R18 vape shops. A very limited range of vapes are available at general retailers such as dairies and supermarkets. Vapes can also be brought online but the parcel should be marked as R18 and require signature or ID on delivery. It is prohibited for any retailer or delivery driver to supply vapes and heated tobacco to those under 18 years.
  • Advertising of vaping products is banned (except at R18 vape shops).

More info can be found here

Vaping to stop smoking - Te Momi haurehu kia mutu te kai paipa


For someone who smokes, vaping is less harmful than smoking tobacco (such as cigarettes, roll-your-owns and cigars). People who switch completely from smoking to vaping dramatically reduce the risk to their health.

Vaping may help some people to quit smoking as it replaces the addictive nicotine in tobacco. You can control the quantity of nicotine in your vape and reduce it over time.

Vaping to quit is more successful when combined with support from a stop smoking service.

For free ongoing support to quit smoking, contact your local stop smoking service (this includes Māori quit services) or call Quitline free on 0800 778 778, text 4006, They can help you find the best method to quit that may include nicotine products, vaping or medicines.

Full health benefits only happen if you switch entirely from smoking to vaping. Even smoking one or two cigarettes is harmful.


Vapes are not the same as heated tobacco devices which still contain tobacco. 


What’s the difference between vapes and heated tobacco?


  • Heated tobacco contains dried tobacco sticks and use an electric battery to heat them. Tobacco is heated to a lower temperature than a traditional cigarette and creates an aerosol (not smoke) that is inhaled. They may contain lower levels of dangerous chemicals than traditional cigarettes, but because they contain tobacco, they come with all the long-term health concerns of cigarettes, roll your own’s and cigars.
  • Vapes do not contain tobacco. They heat a liquid that may contain nicotine, which makes them addictive, but they do not contain the dangerous chemicals tar and carbon monoxide (a toxic gas) found in tobacco. Vapes contain some harmful substances but at much lower levels than cigarettes and other tobacco products. 
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Last updated: March 21, 2022