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22nd Nov 2022

Government to introduce two new regulations for e-cigarettes

Stephen Porzio

The measures are designed to prevent young people from starting to vape.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and Minister of State Frank Feighan have received Government approval to introduce additional restrictions on the sale and advertising of e-cigarettes.

Under the new proposals announced on Tuesday (22 November), the sale of e-cigarettes and related nicotine-inhaling products will be prohibited from self-service vending machines, from temporary or mobile premises and at places or events for children.

On top of this, advertisements for e-cigarettes will be prohibited on public transport, in cinemas and near schools.

In a statement on the Government’s website, the Department of Health said the proposals will be incorporated into the Public Health (Tobacco and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill which is currently being drafted and is expected to be finalised and published by year-end.

The legislation will be designed to regulate any product that can be used for the consumption of nicotine-containing vapour or any component of that product.

It already contains measures to ban the sale of nicotine-inhaling products to those under the age of 18 and to introduce a licensing system for the retail sale of tobacco products and nicotine-inhaling products.

Other measures contained in the Bill include:

  • prohibiting the sale of tobacco products and nicotine-inhaling products by people under 18 years of age
  • prohibiting the sale of tobacco products from self-service vending machines, from temporary or mobile units and at events or locations for children
  • introducing minimum suspension periods for retailers convicted of offences
  • introducing fixed penalty notices for offences

“These measures are designed to protect our children and young people from starting to vape,” Donnelly said.

“We recognise that nicotine is a highly addictive drug, and we are acting today to make these products less accessible to our young people and to remove the advertising for these products from our children’s everyday lives.”

Meanwhile, Feighan added:

“Tobacco smoking continues to kill approximately 4,500 people in our country each year.

“We recognise that nicotine-inhaling products are used by some adult smokers to assist them to quit tobacco smoking.

“However, we are clear that these products are of no benefit to our children and young people or to non-smokers and that is why we are taking this action today.”

Last month, meanwhile, Minister of State Ossian Smyth said he believes that disposable vapes need to “be banned completely” and that he has been working with officials on the plan.

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