Vaping complaint

To make a complaint contact:

Smokefree Enforcement Officer 
Palmerston North and Whanganui
National Public Health Service, MidCentral & Whanganui Regions
Te Whatu Ora:

General Vape Retailers

General Vape Retailers (GVRs) i.e. dairies, supermarkets, service stations, bottle stores and $2 shops, are allowed to sell vapes, including disposable vapes. The types of vapes they sell are restricted to mint, menthol or tobacco flavours. This means they may have more than three types of flavours because mint and menthol can come in various types with names like ‘ice’, ‘polar’ and ‘cool’. If the ‘cool’ or ‘ice’ has a fruit in front, i.e. ‘peach ice’, it’s a flavoured vape. GVR’s are not allowed to sell any vapes to any person aged under eighteen years of age.


If you know of, or hear of an underage person obtaining a flavoured vape such as peach or lemon from a dairy, please let us know. Please note, some dairies have a separate section of their store that is an approved Specialist Vape Retailer store, which are allowed to sell flavours.


A complaint can be made if the general retailer has sold any vape to a person aged under 18 years of age, or has sold a flavour that is not a mint, menthol or tobacco flavour.

Specialist Vape Retailers

Specialist Vape Retailers (SVRs) are allowed to sell flavoured vapes and they are allowed to sample vapes in-store. That means people are allowed to try out vapes, but only inside the SVR, not inside a dairy. A complaint can be made if the retailer has sold any vape to a person aged under 18 years of age.​


Information for or about Specialist Vape Retailers | Ministry of Health NZ

Vaping outdoors

People who vape are allowed to do so both outdoors and inside their own homes. The only exceptions are the grounds of schools, colleges and early education centres, where it is not permitted to vape or smoke.


If people vape outside in a public place, there is no law against this. Councils, companies and organisations often have a policy where vaping and smoking is banned on their grounds. Te Whatu Ora, Public Health Service is not responsible for the conduct of people who smoke or vape outside.​

Vaping indoors

Vaping or smoking is not allowed anywhere indoors that is a workplace. This means all workplaces. The exception to this rule is, people are allowed to vape indoors inside a Specialist Vape Retailer store if they are testing a product.


Vaping and smoking are allowed in private homes. This includes townhouses, flats and in the private rooms of care homes.


Workplace vehicles 

It is at the discretion of an organisation or company to allow employees to smoke or vape in their vehicles, however, we recommend vehicles being Smokefree and vape free as the best health option. ​


Private vehicles

It is illegal to smoke and vape in a vehicle that has rangatahi and children under 18 years old inside the vehicle – whether the vehicle is moving or not.


A driver or owner of a vehicle may not permit smoking or vaping in a vehicle that is carrying people under 18 years of age.