Government approval has been granted to introduce legislation to ban the sale of vaping products to under 18s .
The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly and Minister for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy Hildegarde Naughton has received government approval to publish the Public Health (Tobacco Products and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill and bring it forward for enactment.
This Bill includes wide-ranging measures to tackle smoking and vaping among those aged under 18 years and all adults. These measures focus on preventing children from beginning to smoke or vape to protect their health.
The Bill will prohibit the sale of nicotine inhaling products to anyone under 18 years; prohibit the sale of tobacco products and nicotine inhaling products at events for children; and prohibit the self-service sale of tobacco products and nicotine inhaling products.
Additionally it will prohibit the advertising of nicotine inhaling products around schools and on public transport and provide additional enforcement powers to the Environmental Health Service for measures in the Bill and for all previous Tobacco Control Acts.
It will also introduce a strict licensing system for the retail sale of tobacco products and nicotine inhaling products.
Minister for Health, Stephen Minister Donnelly said: “Tobacco smoking continues to kill 4,500 people in Ireland every year and remains the biggest single cause of disability and death combined in our country. In the past, we have been recognised as global leaders in tobacco control, but our smoking rate continues to remain unacceptably high at 18%.
“We have all seen the rise in popularity of vaping and especially among our young people. Our research tells us that vaping among adolescents increases the likelihood that they will later smoke. Our Bill is designed to intervene at each phase of the process through which these products are sold.”
Minister Donnelly continued: “We will ban the sale of nicotine inhaling products to our children and introducing further restrictions of the advertising of those products so that our children are not exposed to messages glamourising their use.
“We will ban the sale of tobacco products and nicotine inhaling products at events for children and through self-service.
“We will introduce a strict licensing system for the retail sale of tobacco products and nicotine inhaling products with powers to suspend and revoke those licences for contraventions of tobacco control law.
“Finally, we will give our Environmental Health Service additional powers to ensure compliance with these laws. I am determined to continue to make the necessary legislative changes to confront smoking and vaping and help us all to make the healthy decision for ourselves and our families.”
“The publication of the Public Health (Tobacco Products and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill marks a significant step on our journey to a tobacco free Ireland,” said Minister for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Hildegarde Naughton.
“The protection of children, by ensuring that they do not begin to smoke or vape, is fundamental to meeting the objectives of our national tobacco control policy Tobacco Free Ireland.
“By reducing the availability and visibility of these products, and enhancing restrictions on their sale, we will ensure that future generations are not locked into an addiction that has the most detrimental impact on the health of our population.”