Oireachtas report backs flavoured e-cigs ban

By June Shannon Policy News   |   25th Jul 2022

Irish Heart Foundation welcomes Oireachtas Health Committee report calling for ban on flavoured e-cigarettes – an issue the charity has long campaigned for

The Irish Heart Foundation has welcomed measures in a recently published Oireachtas Health Committee report aimed at preventing young people from using e-cigarettes – including plans to ban flavoured vapes.

The charity lobbied extensively to have four sweeping recommendations included in the Oireachtas Health Committee’s pre-legislative scrutiny report for the Public Health (Tobacco and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill 2019.

One of the key recommendations in the Oireachtas report is a ban on the flavouring of all vapes, except tobacco flavour, something that the Irish Heart Foundation has long been calling for.

“Vape manufacturers clearly use flavours – and research has identified thousands of them – that they know will attract minors,” said Mark Murphy, Advocacy Officer with the Irish Heart Foundation.

“Many products are sold in bright, attractive packaging with cartoon characters designed to entice young people. In research we carried out, 3rd and 4th-year students were shown different e-cigarette products. When asked for their thoughts, none believed the claim by e-cigarette companies that their design was for adults only and believed, instead, that they were highly likely to appeal to children more than adults.”

“We can point to evidence showing that e-cigarettes are not harm-free; they damage health, inflict short-term harm and act as a gateway to cigarette tobacco smoking.

Mark Murphy, Advocacy Officer , The Irish Heart Foundation

The recommendations contained in the Oireachtas health committee’s report on the Public Health (Tobacco and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill also tackle this issue – suggesting a restriction on brightly coloured packaging and the introduction of plain packaging.

The report also suggests measures to prohibit e-cigarette advertising and promotion across all social media, online and on billboards.

In addition, the committee recommended that the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, conducts a review and assembles research on international studies that have focused on increasing the age of tobacco and nicotine-inhaling product purchase from 18 years of age to 21.

“We recognise that some long-term adult smokers use e-cigarettes to quit or reduce smoking, however, the Irish Heart Foundation is concerned about the rise of youth vaping,” said Mr Murphy.

“We can point to evidence showing that e-cigarettes are not harm-free; they damage health, inflict short-term harm and act as a gateway to cigarette tobacco smoking.

“Smoking causes thousands of deaths every year in Ireland. We are not prepared to let another generation of young people become addicted to tobacco,” he added.

Recent HSE research shows that 71 per cent of the Irish public supports Tobacco 21 – a move to ban tobacco sales to those aged under 21.

Smoking is one of the leading risk factors for heart disease and stroke, you can get support here to help you quit.

The HSE provides a range of services to help you stop smoking. Find stop smoking clinics and other services near you https://www2.hse.ie/quit-smoking/support-services/

Peer-to-peer support is available on the QUIT Facebook Page or on Twitter @HSEQuitTeam 


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e-cigarettes e-cigs oireachtas report quit smoking vaping

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