Minister Rabbitte has wholeheartedly welcomed Dáil passing of legislation to ban vaping products being sold to under 18s

The Public Health (Tobacco Products and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill passing all stages of the legislative process in the Dáil.

The Bill will now proceed to the Seanad.

person putting e-juice on gold Wismec variable vaporizer
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The intention is that the law prohibiting the sale of nicotine inhaling products such as e-cigarettes to under 18 years old will be enacted and commenced as soon as possible.

The Bill contains wide-ranging measures to tackle smoking and vaping among children and adults.

man in hoodie vaping
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These measures focus on preventing young people from beginning to smoke or vape to protect their health.

Along with prohibiting the sale of nicotine inhaling products to under 18s the Bill will:

  • prohibit the sale of tobacco products and nicotine inhaling products at events for children;
  • prohibit the self-service sale of tobacco products and nicotine inhaling products;
  • introduce a strict licensing system for the retail sale of tobacco products and nicotine inhaling products;
  • prohibit the advertising of nicotine inhaling products around schools and on public transport;
  • provide additional enforcement powers to the Environmental Health Service for measures in the Bill and for all previous Tobacco Control Acts.

3 red and yellow labeled bottles
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Minister Rabbitte said:

HISTORY was made in March 2004 when Ireland became the first country in the world to introduce comprehensive legislation banning smoking in in pubs, restaurants and all other workplaces.

For Michéal Martin, Minister for Health at the time, it was the end of a long battle between pro- and anti-smoking forces.

In 1965, when Herbert Gilbert was granted the first patent on a smoke and tobacco-­free cigarette, he wrote that the product would “provide a safe and harmless means for and method of smoking.”

Woman in Black Shirt Smoking
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More than 60 years later, however, modern iterations of Gilbert’s invention have sparked debate in the public-health community.

E-cigarettes, which have grown increasingly popular in the past five years, were designed as a tool to help people quit ­smoking—and by doing drastically reduce rates of smoking.

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to surmise that flavoured e-cigarettes may also be contributing to surging rates of adolescent experimentation. This trend is troubling given that the nicotine in e-cigarettes can lead to addiction or cause problems in adolescent brain development

The long-term effects of e-cigarette use aren’t the only unknowns. It’s also unclear whether vapes actually help smokers quit in the first place.  A study by BMJ suggest:

  • Rising interest in e-cigarettes among youth may be partially related to the thousands of available flavours, despite the potential harmful effects of flavourants.

  • Few national studies have examined adolescents’ preferences among specific flavours or whether the mediators of the relationship between flavours and interest in use vary by specific flavour.

While we wait for this research to mature, adolescents are experimenting with e-cigarettes in increasing numbers and I welcome the government’s swift action in passing this legislation.

We are also introducing a licensing system for both tobacco products and nicotine inhaling products in order to better reflect the potentially harmful nature of the products being sold. Under the new system, retailers will have to apply for and be granted an annual licence for the sale of these products.

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