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Consultation on electronic cigarettes: analysis of submissions


Describes the key themes which emerged during a consultation process for policy options for the regulation of electronic cigarettes in New Zealand.


The Ministry of Health has consulted on policy options for the regulation of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), including possible amendments to the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 (SFEA).

Proposed amendments would mean that the sale and supply of nicotine e-cigarettes and e-liquid would be made lawful as consumer products, with appropriate regulatory controls, which would:

  • prohibit their sale and supply in public places, to people under the age of 18 years
  • restrict advertising
  • prohibit their use in areas defined as smokefree in the SFEA.


Consultation period

The consultation period ran for six weeks (2 August until 12 September 2016). It was publicised on the Ministry of Health website 2 and in several mainstream media news items.

Data collection and handling

Participants were asked to make only written submissions. A consultation submission form was developed to guide feedback and included specific questions (see Appendix 1). These forms were returned by email.

Ministry of Health staff transferred data from the submission forms into an Excel spreadsheet.

Data collected in the comments/free text sections was themed by one member of the team and checked by two others. Where discrepancies arose these were resolved by discussion with all team members. Multiple themes could be extracted from each response.


Simple descriptive statistics were used to summarise the submissions. Vaping status (that is, whether or not the submitter used an e-cigarette) was recorded and results were compared b etween vapers and non-vapers using chi - squared statistics, where appropriate. Differences were considered statistically significant where p<0.05.

Free text responses were themed.

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