Fresh legislation | 

New laws to ban sale of vaping products to under-18s

Health Minister to seek Cabinet approval for ban from early in the new year

The nicotene inhaling product ban will need Cabinet approval. Stock image

Senan MolonyIndependent.ie

The sale of e-cigarettes and vaping products to under-18s is set to be banned, the Sunday World can reveal.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly is to seek Cabinet approval to ban the sale of “nicotene inhaling products” to those aged under 18 from early in the new year.

Vaping products are already banned in a number of European countries, as there is clear evidence that exposure to nicotine in adolescence can have long-term consequences for brain development.

Legislation is at an advanced stage and the minister will seek Cabinet approval to introduce a ban on the sale of vaping prouducts to under-18s early in the New Year.

Mr Donnelly will also restrict the types of retailers that can sell vaping products, reducing the number of outlets.

He also intends to curb the advertising of nicotine-inhaling products near schools. This will also apply to a number of other settings frequented by children and young teenagers.

A ban on advertisements for vaping instruments and oils will also apply on public transport.

The intention is to limit children’s exposure to commercial messages “normalising or glamourising” the purchase and use of e-cigarettes, a source said. The advertising restrictions will further support the ban on their sale to under-18s.

Parents have become increasingly concerned at the proliferation of stand-alone “vape shops” in Irish cities and small towns.

At the same time the medical evidence has been piling up that e-cigarettes are as bad or worse than standard cigarettes. Yet vaping use by young teenagers has been increasing.

The most recently published surveys of Irish children — the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Survey (2018) and the European Schools Project on Alcohol and other Drugs (2019) – show that 9pc of 12-to-17-year-olds had used e-cigarettes in the previous 30 days.

This increased to 15.5pc for those aged 15-16, with evidence that using e-cigarettes led to cigarette smoking. This is in stark contrast to the vaping industry’s portrayal of their products as a step-down mechanism enabling smokers to quit their habit completely.

According to the World Health Organisation there are 16,000 different flavours of vapes – such as bubblegum and gummy bears.

“There are concerns it is a gateway to smoking,” an official said last night.

An evidence review by the Health Research Board found that children who vaped were five times more likely to go on and start smoking.

Many of the big tobacco companies have now also branched out into vaping.

Pre-legislative scrutiny of the General Scheme of the Public Health (Tobacco and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill by the Joint Committee on Health began in November 2021.

The committee’s final report was published in July this year. It supported prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes from temporary or moveable premises, at places or events for children, and from all vending machines.


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