New vaping restrictions “don’t go far enough,” health campaigners warn

The Irish Heart Foundation (IHF) has criticized the government’s proposed regulations on vaping products, arguing they “don’t go far enough”.

The sale of e-cigarettes and related nicotine inhalation products will be banned from self-service machines, temporary or mobile premises and at children’s venues or events, according to new proposals agreed in Cabinet today.

Advertising for e-cigarettes will be banned on public transport, in cinemas and near schools.

The proposals will form part of the public health (tobacco and nicotine inhalation products) bill currently being drafted.

The bill is expected to be finalized and published by the end of the year, and the legislation would regulate any product that can be used to consume nicotine-containing vapor or components of that product.

The draft law already includes measures to ban the sale of nicotine inhalation products to persons under the age of 18 and introduce a licensing system for the retail sale of tobacco products and nicotine inhalation products. Other measures contained in the draft law are:

  • Ban on the sale of tobacco products and nicotine inhalation products by persons under the age of 18.
  • Prohibiting the sale of tobacco products from self-service machines, from temporary or mobile units, and at children’s events or places.
  • Introducing minimum embargo periods for retailers convicted of criminal offences.
  • Introduce fixed fines for misdemeanors.

However, the IHF said bigger steps needed to be taken to “protect young people from nicotine addiction”.


Chris Macey from the Irish Heart Foundation

Chris Macey, the foundation’s director of advocacy, said a number of new measures are also needed, including a ban on e-cigarette flavors for children and higher taxes on vaping products.

“Recent statistics show that 39 percent of 15-16 year olds have used e-cigarettes and 15.5 percent are regular users,” he said.

“However, the numbers could be much higher after a surge in single-use vape use, particularly among teens and young adults.

“In the UK, the number of vapers using disposable e-cigarettes has increased from less than 1 to 56 in the last year.”

Mr Macey said tobacco use among teenagers is increasing “for the first time in a generation”, while an analysis by the Health Research Board has found that teenagers who vape are three to five times more likely to start smoking.

“The hard-won gains of the last generation, when smoking rates fell from 41 percent to 13 percent, are now seriously threatened because the government has failed to take a stronger line against e-cigarette use by youth,” Herr said macey

“We need the introduction of plain packaging for e-cigarettes, a ban on single-use vapes, additional taxes to make e-cigarettes less affordable for children, and regulations that ensure no advertising or advertising for e-cigarettes is allowed in any form is permitted.”

He added: “We are also calling for the legal selling age for tobacco to be raised to 21 and for similar regulations to be introduced for e-cigarettes to ensure that such a law does not push young people into vaping anymore.”

Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly said earlier today that “nicotine is a highly addictive drug”, adding: “We are acting today to make these products less accessible to our young people and to remove advertising for these products from our children’s everyday lives .”

Meanwhile, Secretary of State for Public Health Frank Feighan said: “Tobacco smoking continues to kill approximately 4,500 people in our country each year.

“We recognize that nicotine inhalation products are used by some adult smokers to help them quit smoking. However, we recognize that these products are not beneficial for our children and young people or for non-smokers , and therefore we are.” Take that action today.”

Pediatric respiratory medicine adviser at Children’s Health Ireland, Prof Des Cox, said vaping products “were not designed for teenagers’ lungs”.

“Initially when they came out they were suggested as a way to quit smoking, but the way they are currently being marketed – the way they are advertised and the products that are actually related sold on taste and packaging – tells us a different story,” he said.

“They’re using the old tobacco company tactics where they’re promoting these products to teenagers and they’re trying to get them addicted to nicotine so they can create a whole new generation of nicotine users.”

Speaking of Newstalk breakfastProfessor Cox welcomed the new regulations but said they were “a long time coming”.

“Recent polls show that one in five teenagers has tried vaping and slightly fewer than them use it regularly,” he added.

“Then the ASH report, released in the UK over the summer, showed a seven-fold increase in the use of disposable vapes among teenagers, and many of them are seeing it being promoted on social media.

“So it’s not anecdotal anymore. We now have evidence.” New vaping restrictions “don’t go far enough,” health campaigners warn

Fry Electronics Team

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