A "really clear picture" is set to emerge around vaping next month as the Government plans to introduce a law, set to limit flavours, colours and marketing.
Health Minister David Clark told TVNZ1's Q+A he believed using vaping as a gateway out of other tobacco products was "a good thing".
"If it is a gateway in, it’s is a bad thing. The early evidence seems to be that it is little less harmful than other tobacco products."
However, there was concern not only about the unknown long-term health effects of vaping, but also the promotion of vaping that could entice a new generation of young people into addiction.
One New Zealand vaping website sells flavours such as "Strawberry Watermelon Bubblegum", "Berry Dweebz" and "Mango Tango".
Host Jack Tame asked Dr Clark about the "collateral damage" of young people taking up vaping, in place of getting people off cigarettes.
"That’s why we need proper regulation," Dr Clark said.
"There is no regulation around it. We are putting vaping regulation together right now."
Dr Clark said he thought a bill would be introduced in a month's time "which will have a really clear picture of what is allowed and what is not, and it will mirror what happens with tobacco more broadly".
"You won't be able to market to young people, they are going to not have flavours, not have colours. Those things that would appeal to young people, that we know are used in lots of industries, are going to be strictly regulated."
Q+A is on TVNZ1 on Mondays at 9.30pm, and the episode is then available on TVNZ OnDemand and as a podcast in all the usual places.