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Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner said the change came despite the fact scientific evidence of the safety of e-cigarettes was still developing.
''There's a general consensus that vaping is much less harmful than smoking,'' Ms Wagner said.
''The Government is taking a cautious approach by aligning the regulations around vaping with those for cigarettes.
''This ensures cigarette smokers have access to a lower-risk alternative while we continue to discourage people from smoking or vaping in the first place.''
The new rules for all e-cigarettes, whether they contain nicotine or not, include restricting sales to people 18 years and over, banning vaping in indoor areas where smoking is currently prohibited, and restrictions on advertising.
The Government had already announced its intention to legalise e-cigarette sales, and today's decision comes after a consultation period.
Currently, nicotine patches and gum can be bought, but nicotine e-cigarette liquid must be bought from overseas.
Users ''vape'' on an e-cigarette, inhaling its nicotine-containing vapour, in the way that smokers inhale the smoke of a tobacco cigarette, which contains nicotine plus many cancer-causing chemicals.
In England, e-cigarettes are the leading form of quit-smoking aid, used by 35 percent of smokers trying to quit. However, some researchers argue that e-cigarettes risk providing a ``gateway'' into smoking for youth.
New Zealand's Ministry of Health has been monitoring evidence on the role of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation.