Government Bans Sale Of Vaping Products To Under 18s


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Government Bans Sale Of Vaping Products To Under 18s
Government Bans Sale Of Vaping Products To Under 18s

A ban on the sale of nicotine inhaling products such as e-cigarettes, also known as vapes, to children comes into effect from tomorrow.

Anyone in breach of the law could serve up to six months in prison or face a penalty of up to €4,000.

The legislation also contains other measures which will come into effect in the new year including a ban on advertising nicotine inhaling products around schools and on public transport, regulation in relating to vending and a stricter licensing system for the sale of these products.

Next year, the Government will also consider further regulation of the flavour and packaging of vapes.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said the legislation had been introduced to protect children and was widely supported by retailers, parents and young people

He said: “It’s really important because we are seeing a huge upsurge in the use of vapes by children, in people under the age of 18.

“We have very clear evidence, medical evidence, public health evidence that this is damaging to young people so its important that we move on this.

“We know from speaking to young people, they say my friend vapes or my classmates vape.

“So it’s very important this gets knocked on the head comprehensively.”

‘Vaping can lead to smoking’ – Donnelly

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“There’s also a concern that for young people vaping it can lead to beginning to smoke when they get that little bit older and while we are clamping down on vapes as we must do, we also must keep an eye on smoking to get the numbers smoking in the country down and down,” he added.

In November, Mr Donnelly and Minister for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Hildegarde Naughton launched a public consultation into future regulation of tobacco and nicotine inhaling products such as vapes.

Ms Naughton said the ban on e-cigarettes was a good beginning.

“I look forward to the results of our public consultation on the options for the further regulation of nicotine inhaling products, particularly around flavourings and packaging”.

“We know that young people who vape are more likely to go on to smoke, so it is important that they are not drawn to these products,” Ms Naughton added.


Read more:
At a glance: New vaping ban for under-18s
What are the health concerns related to vaping?


The Irish Vape Vendors Association (IVVA) welcomed the new legislation and said the introduction of other measures such as licensing need to be accelerated

IVVA founder Alex Pescar said: “It is something we have waited for for a very long time. I think with this new policy we will protect the young generation. But we are also looking forward to the legislation of licencing.

“In this way the Government can keep under control who is serving e-cigarettes because at the moment you can buy them in every corner of every street.”

A public consultation on further regulation of vaping products was launched last month to examine things such as the sale of flavoured vapes and packaging and remains open until 5 January.

However, the Government is likely to face more opposition to these kinds of changes from both retailers and the public.

The IVVA said that 70% of those vaping in the Ireland are using non-tobacco flavoured products.

They said that bans on flavouring could force people to buy from the black market or encourage them to return to smoking.

A debate is brewing over whether to ban flavoured vapes (Photo: RollingNews.ie)

Professor Des Cox, a consultant in paediatric respiratory medicine at CHI Crumlin, said the new legislation was a long-time coming but very welcome.

He told RTÉ’s Drivetime: “All the paediatricians here are delighted to see this legislation has finally been enacted, and I’m sure that goes for actually most people around the country.

“We have been very vocal about our support for a ban on disposable vapes because this is the product of choice for young people nowadays.

“Some research from the Northern Ireland data showed that 85% of teenagers, their product of choice is disposable vapes, so we would like to see those banned.

“Also, in order to discourage teenagers from taking up the product, we would like to see a ban on flavours apart from tobacco flavours as this is very attractive for teenagers.

“We would like to see plain packaging and decreased advertising and marketing similar to what is in place for tobacco cigarettes.”

Dr Garrett McGovern, a GP specialising in addiction medicine and Medical Director of Priority Medical Clinic in Dundrum, said he was delighted to see an age restriction put in place, but disagreed with people who called for a ban of flavours.

He told RTÉ’s Drivetime: “It should have been enacted a long time ago, it is hard to believe that in 2023, we are seeing an age restriction, and vaping has been around as long as it has

“If you ban flavours, you defacto ban electric cigarettes because flavours are a critical component of people trying to quit.”

“If we ban flavours, I have absolutely no doubt that smoking rates will go up,” he added.

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