29 Nov 2013.



Following testing of 9 brands available on the NZ market, the following two brands were successful in reaching the standard  and announced to the winners, at the Gateway Conference on Electronic Cigarettes in Auckland on Oct 23:

1) Elusion Ego with clearomiser. 1st on lowest price, 2nd on nicotine per puff, 2nd on persuading smokers to switch.

2) Greensmoke  with cartomiser. 1st on nicotine per puff, 1st on persuading smokers to switch. 

*A paper is in preparation.

Also see www.healthnz.co.nz/News2013.htm




In the absence of regulated standards for electronic cigarettes in most countries, Health New Zealand Ltd, the first research firm to test e-cigarettes outside of China, will launch and operate a voluntary industry standard for satisfactory e-cigarette performance.


Launch.  Dr Murray Laugesen QSO FNZCPHM, a public health medicine specialist, and owner of Health New Zealand Ltd was to launch the final 2013 standard on 23 October 2013 at the Gateway Conference on Cigarette Substitutes (the world’s first scientific conference on e-cigarettes [see www.healthnz.co.nz]) at the Rendezvous Hotel, Auckland, New Zealand prior to the opening of the Oceania Smokefree Conference, 23-26 October.


Aim The standard aims to assist smokers to choose, and doctors to recommend, reasonably safe and satisfying brands to purchase. It does not:

  • replace the  need for national regulatory standards for good manufacturing practice and product safety,
  • replace the need for international testing standards set by the World Health Organization in due course.
  • the manufacturer’s’ warranty of trouble-free performance.
  • guarantee safety of the product; which may vary by batch and with respect to constituents not tested for.


Eligibility To be eligible to apply to join this standard the distributor must state name and address of the manufacturer of the e-cigarette and the liquid. In the public interest, Health NZ reserves the right to publish analyses of various brands even if they have not applied to join the scheme.

Types of product: Manufacturers or distributors are invited to submit samples of e-cigarettes that are cigarette look-alikes, modified e-cigarettes or disposables. Initial fee is USD 1850.

Claims of conformity to the Health New Zealand standard requires confirmation of that fact on the Health New Zealand website. www.healthnz.co.nz/HealthNZstandard_Ecigs   A further draft version will be published after initial comments are sought from international health, industry and regulator groups.

Updating The standard will be reassessed annually for possible upgrading, and manufacturers would be invited to submit new brands for testing.

Legal liability. Health New Zealand Ltd does not accept legal liability for omissions or for unapproved use of the standard. 


Health New Zealand standard for electronic cigarettes


A certificate of conformity to the Health New Zealand standard requires e-cigarettes 

     To be rated by Health New Zealand Ltd for

1)    Likeability, satisfaction and strength of puffs. Smokers will rate e-cigarettes against their own brand. On likeability for example, e-cigarette brands are expected to be scored at least 75% as likeable as their own tobacco brands.

2)    Child safety. Nicotine solution child-proof, and bottled nicotine must be in a child proof container.

3)    Puff capacity One cartomiser or refill produces a minimum of 150 puffs of 70 ml vapour per puff on bench top testing, with a new battery used every 50 puffs if necessary. 

To be rated by Canterbury Health Laboratories Christchurch NZ for

4)    Nicotine content per cartomiser.

5)    True to label Brand described as high strength must contain 16 to 18 mg per cartomiser, and contain <0.1 mg if rated zero. In numerics, nicotine content should vary no more than 15% from the amount on the label.


And to be rated by Labstat International Kitchener Ontario Canada for

6)    Adequate  Nicotine in the vapour of the first 150 puffs ( 8 mg nicotine or more, average 50 micrograms of nicotine per puff) (1)

7)    Toxicants in the vapour. The first 150 puffs to contain on average,

8)    Acrolein <0.6 micrograms per 150 puffs. (2)

Acetaldehyde, formaldehyde  each <1.0 micrograms per 50 puffs (2).

9)    Gycols. Vapour: Diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol free.

10) Measurement of nicotine and toxicants is based on the following puff parameters:

  • Puff volume  average 70 ml. (1)
  • Puffs in groups of 15 puffs, with 5 minutes between groups. (1)  
  • Puff duration 3 seconds (3)
  • Puff interval 10 seconds (1) then 5 minutes between groups.



1. Goniewicz ML, Kuma T, Gawron M, Knysak J, & Kosmider L. Nicotine Levels in Electronic Cigarettes. Nicotine Tobacco Research. 2012. Advance Access April 22.

2. Sobczak A, Goniewicz M.Kosmider L. et al. Substantial reduction in emission of selected carbonyls and volatile organic compounds from electronic cigarettes compared to tobacco cigarettes. Poster 4-49. Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco Boston 2013. 

3. Joza P. E-cigarette Analysis, Challenges, Considerations, Atlanta workshop. Labstat International.