Controlled substances, including THC, are found in products overseas. Photo / Bevan Conley
New Zealand scientists tested 150 vaping products on the market for the first time, to check levels of nicotine and ethanol, and after illegal drugs were discovered in some foreign liquids.
The study by ESR, the Institute of Environmental Science and Research, will examine a wide variety of vaping liquid products sold in New Zealand.
Scientists are developing testing methodologies, and will analyze the liquid for levels of nicotine, drugs, ethanol (alcohol), color, endotoxins, and tobacco-specific nitrosamines (harmful chemicals found in tobacco and tobacco smoke).
International studies have reported large variations between labeled and actual nicotine levels, and some have found the presence of controlled substances, including THC (a mind-altering substance found in marijuana), CBD (also found in cannabis, but which have few substances with no psychoactive properties). ) and some synthetic cannabinoids, in commercial and “homemade” vaping fluids.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States have previously linked THC-containing vaping products with lung disease in some users.
An ESR spokesperson told the Herald on Sunday that studies on several products in New Zealand have pointed to quality control issues, including nicotine levels and general vaping base ingredient ratios. Ethanol (alcohol) was also detected, and is not listed as an ingredient.
Testing will be carried out over the next few months at various ESR laboratories, with the aim of completing most of it by May, when the Ministry of Health’s regulations on vaping products containing color come into effect.
“The initial stage of this study is to collect market data to determine the range of products, both nicotine and non-nicotine, that is available,” said an ESR spokesperson.
“This survey will be run every month looking at significant product trends, product availability, and changes as Ministry of Health regulations come into effect and the vaping market develops.”
Vaping is the term for using an electronic device to heat a liquid into vapor, which the user inhales.
Nearly a quarter of New Zealanders have tried vaping, up from 16 percent in 2015/16. About half of people aged 15 to 24 are more likely to report vaping.
Last November Constitution It was enforced to control a fast-growing industry, banning sales to the age of 18, prohibiting advertising, and limiting the sale of some flavors to specialty stores.
The law changes also introduced a security system that would allow the Ministry of Health to recall or suspend products, and issue warnings.
Ministry officials are in consultation on proposed and related regulations, including those that would change the way smoke-free and vaping “internal areas” in hospitality venues are defined.
Currently, smoking is not permitted in an area if, when all doors, windows and other openings that can be closed are closed, completely or substantially covered by a ceiling, roof or similar upper surface, and by walls, sides or screens.
The ministry said this definition was not always clear enough and, when tested through court action, the rulings were inconsistent.
They have already filed four options, includes the preferred option of defining it as a wholly or partially enclosed area with a roof or overhead structure of any kind, whether permanent or temporary.
That means if there is a roof or overhead structure of any kind, regardless of how much cover is provided, the area should be smoke-free.
Submissions will close on Monday, with proposals then submitted to the Cabinet, and regulations expected to be in place by August.