VAPO’s 16th specialist store has recently opened in Aukland’s renowned Ponsonby Road, following two other store openings in Queenstown and Pukekohe last month, and another expected in the coming days.
VAPO and Alt New Zealand co-owners, Ben Pryor and Jonathan Devery, say the dedicated stores are now critical given the tougher vaping regulations recently set in place. “In short, our new specialist vape stores will help keep many Kiwis off cigarettes given the likes of dairies face heavy restrictions on vape flavours from next year,” said Devery.
Given the new regulations, the presence of vape shops is now essential
While general retailers are only allowed to sell 3 vape flavours: menthol, mint and tobacco, stores that register and qualify as specialist vape stores, such as VAPO’s new stores, may continue to sell a wide range of popular flavours.
The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill has restricted the sales of flavoured vaping products to specialist vape retailers, meaning that general retailers such as supermarkets, service stations and dairies are only allowed to sell three vape flavours: Menthol, mint and tobacco. Whereas those that register and qualify as specialist vape stores, such as VAPO’s new stores, may continue to sell a wide range of popular flavours.
“Under the new legislation, Auckland and Dunedin vapers were set to lose considerable access to many flavours from next year as general retailers will only be allowed to sell three. However, VAPO’s arrival means local vapers will retain great access to their favourite flavours which research shows is absolutely critical to keeping people off smoking,” said Devery.
The bill has also set in place a tobacco age limit of 18. It has also banned nicotine pouches, set restrictions on advertising and set in place standards to ensure product safety. “VAPO’s arrival will help a lot of locals quit deadly cigarettes and that’s really exciting for us. We also want to assure people that VAPO stores enforce a strict R18 policy which includes asking for identification from all customers who look under 25 years of age,” added Devery.
VAPO sets in place its own public-health-promoting rules
Moreover, VAPO also has in place a retail policy which permits the sales of vaping products only to smokers wanting to quit, or to existing vapers. “By sustainably growing the number of VAPO stores, we’re hoping to encourage even more Kiwi smokers to make the switch. Our online store continues to see good growth, but a ‘bricks and mortar’ retail presence remains really important to ex-smokers,” he said.