Health Committee proposals on vaping will delay crucial u-18 ban: Vape Business Ireland 

Health Committee proposals on vaping will delay crucial u-18 ban: Vape Business Ireland 

Vape Business Ireland (VBI), the leading trade body representing the vape manufacturer and vape shop sector, has expressed its deep concern following the release of the latest Oireachtas Health Committee report on e-cigarettes.

The Oireachtas Health Committee Report on Pre-Legislative Scrutiny of the General Scheme of the Public Health (Tobacco and Nicotine Inhaling Products Bill) was published by the Oireachtas Health Committee on July 15.

The Association contends that the proposals contained in the Report will delay the crucial under 18 ban and damage progress on the policy objective of a Tobacco Free Ireland by 2025.

In the Report, the Oireachtas Health Committee made a number of recommendations including:

  • The regulation of flavouring of e-cigarettes and all flavours except for tobacco*
  • Restriction of the sale of e-cigarettes to those under-18
  • Restriction of the sale of e-cigarettes in certain outlets
  • Restrictions of the use of brightly coloured packaging
  • Prohibit all forms of e-cigarette advertising and promotions, including on billboards, online on all social media platforms, and influencer marketing methods

VBI contends that, if all of the recommendations of the Committee are considered, which are outside the current remit of the general scheme of the Bill, then this will cause further delays in the passage of crucial legislation to ban the sale of vaping products to those under the age of 18 – which VBI has been calling for since 2015.

The logistical realities of incorporating amendments mean that it could be months, possibly years before youth access will be prohibited by law, it says.

As the leading industry body, VBI participated in the plenary sessions of the Health Committee hearings, where it provided evidential proof, based on international best practice, of the efficacy of vaping as a harm reduction tool.

The Association said it is gravely disappointed to learn that the Report does not provide a balanced representation of the independent details made available to the Committee in advance, during and after the Association’s appearance.

Furthermore, the Association says the Report fails to recognise the significant body of national and international expert evidence which supports vaping as a harm reduction tool for adult ex-smokers. The Association fears that this failure has the potential to undermine the Government’s commendable ambition of achieving a Tobacco Free Ireland by 2025.

Spokesperson for Vape Business Ireland, Eoin O’Boyle said: “VBI welcomed the opportunity to present to the Oireachtas Health Committee as part of the pre-legislative scrutiny process, to shed light on the significant body of national and international evidence, which demonstrates the efficacy of vaping as a harm reduction tool.

“Despite our developed submission, replete with independent evidence, the Report has prioritised claims from stakeholders who pointed to outdated evidence, as well as research which falls short of international standards; not least an IPSOS survey which consisted of only 16 teenage participants.

“If Ireland is to achieve its ambitious goal of reaching a 5% smoking rate by 2025, it would be prudent not to restrict the tools at our disposal and take heed of the UK’s Making Smoking Obsolete Report conclusion that ‘we must not let the pursuit of perfection to become the enemy of the good’, which includes policy recommendations to boost vaping as a tool to moving away from smoking.

As an industry, we are deeply concerned that some of the proposed recommendations made in this Report will lead to a delay in the enactment of the legislation, which could undermine the whole purpose of it, and that of the overarching ambition of a Tobacco Free Ireland.”