The Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly and the Minister for Public Health, Frank Feighan, received government approval to introduce additional regulation on the sale and advertising of nicotine inhaling products such as e-cigarettes.
Under the new proposals, 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. In addition, advertisements for e-cigarettes will be prohibited on public transport, in cinemas and near schools.
The proposals will be incorporated into the Public Health (Tobacco and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill which is currently being drafted. The Bill 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.
The Bill 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 persons 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.
Minister Donnelly said, “these measures are designed to protect our children and young people from starting to vape. 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.”
The Minister of State with responsibility for Public Health, Well Being and the National Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan, welcomed the government’s approval of the measures, “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.”