Government must heed charities’ call for full e-cigarette regulation – Thomas Gould TD
Sinn Fein TD for Cork North Central has today called on the government, and the Department of Health, to listen to calls made by the Irish Heart Foundation and the Irish Cancer Society to bring in a full ban on flavoured vaping products though the Public Health (Tobacco) Bill 2021.
His comments come in response to the first session of Pre-Legislative scrutiny of the General Scheme of the Bill by the Oireachtas Health Committee.
Teachta Gould said:
“There are large portions of this Bill that Sinn Fein welcome and are happy to see. In particular, banning the purchasing of vaping products by under-18s and other measures aimed to reduce smoking are positive steps in the right direction.
“Vaping has been seen to be a gateway to smoking in young people and the nicotine in vaping products can cause damage to a young person’s brain.
“Unfortunately, the Department’s response, when I asked about banning flavoured vaping products, was really disappointing. The Department officials claimed that there would be no ban on these flavoured products because they may be preferable to someone looking to quit smoking.
“Studies in the US have shown that many young people are being enticed to vaping by flavours such as ‘bubblegum’ and ‘candy floss’. I suggested that if there is evidence that those quitting smoking have a preference for flavoured vapes, these be available only through prescription.
“Banning these flavoured vapes makes sense and there is serious concern that the Department can’t seem to see that.
“We will hopefully work with the Department and the Health Committee to bring forward the best possible Public Health (Tobacco) Act because it is time to fully regulate this sector.”