New legislation banning sale of e-cigs to children welcome

By June Shannon Policy News   |   25th Oct 2019

New laws which propose banning the sale of e-cigarettes to children do not go far enough

The Irish Heart Foundation has welcomed Government approval for new legislation which proposes banning the sale of e-cigarettes to under 18-year olds, but the charity has also called for a blanket ban on the advertising of these products to all ages.

The proposed Public Health (Tobacco and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill includes a number of measures including a ban on the sale of e cigarettes to children and a ban on the sale of tobacco products at events intended for people under 18.

Commenting Mr Chris Macey, Head of Advocacy at the Irish Heart Foundation said, that while the new legislation was welcome, much more needed to be done to ensure that another generation of young people in this country does not become addicted to nicotine.

“We know from our experience with youth smoking that a ban on sales to minors alone will not work. It is vital that in tandem with this measure a blanket ban is applied on the advertising of e- cigarettes. Surreptitious online marketing tactics have driven what the Surgeon General has described as an epidemic of youth e cigarette use in the US. We also need to ban flavoured e cigarettes. These are clearly aimed at young people, not those long-term smokers who might benefit from vaping,” he said.

" It is vital that in tandem with this measure a blanket ban is applied on the advertising of e-cigarettes,"

Mr Chris Macey, Head of Advocacy , Irish Heart Foundation

The Minister for Health, Minister Simon Harris said, “I am pleased to be bringing forward this important piece of legislation which will help us achieve a tobacco free Ireland, where our children can grow up without harm from tobacco.

“Tobacco costs the Irish exchequer a total of €10.6 billion every year and 6,000 deaths a year are caused by smoking. I am determined to continue to make the necessary legislative changes to confront this challenge and help reach our goal of being Tobacco Free.”

The measures in relation to nicotine inhaling products recognises that these products are not ordinary consumer goods but products that contain a highly addictive substance which should not be available to children.

“As the industry continues to adapt, we must ensure it is not able to lure our children into this deadly addiction.”

The Minister will now refer the General Scheme of the Bill to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health for pre-legislative scrutiny.

Tobacco remains the world’s leading cause of preventable death. 1 in 2 smokers will die of a preventable disease.

Smoking is one of the main risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

Stopping smoking is the single most important step you can take to live longer, and it greatly reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke.

For more information and support please see our quit smoking page.

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