The Ministry of Heath has abandoned its legal fight to stop a tobacco giant importing and selling tobacco sticks designed to be heated instead of burned like cigarettes.
HEETS are tobacco sticks or refills that are heated in an electronic device, rather than burned like a traditional cigarette.
Source: RNZ rnz.co.nz
Last month, the Wellington District Court dismissed the Health Ministry's case against Phillip Morris, ruling the product, HEETS, doesn't come under the Smoke-Free Environment Act's ban on tobacco products for chewing or other oral use.
The ministry has decided not to appeal the decision.
The products will be subject to the same regulatory controls as smoked tobacco, meaning they cannot be sold to minors and advertising is restricted.
But unlike cigarettes, vaping and heated products can be used indoors in public places.
The ministry said it was now considering how best to regulate vaping and heated tobacco products.
Philip Morris said the sticks - which were vaporised using a pen-like device called an IQOS - were safer than conventional cigarettes.