Irish Government planning to ban vapes being sold to teens by mid-July

Irish Government planning to ban vapes being sold to teens by mid-July

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly will bring a memo to Cabinet on Tuesday morning asking ministers to sign off on legislation that would see the sale of vapes or e-cigarettes to teenagers banned.

Children under the age of 18 will be banned from buying “vapes” or e-cigarettes before the middle of July under plans going to Cabinet.

Ministers are expected to sign off this Tuesday morning on new legislation from Health Minister Stephen Donnelly that would see vapes banned for children.

The Bill will also restrict the type of retailers that can sell nicotine-inhaling products, as well as banning advertisements for nicotine-inhaling products near schools and on public transport, the Irish Mirror reported.

Government sources told the Irish Mirror that the advertising crackdown would be done in a bid to “limit children’s exposure to commercial messages normalising or glamourising the purchase and usage of e-cigarettes”.

The crack down on retailers selling e-cigarettes will see vape vending machines banned. Mobile or casual traders at events where children are present will also not be allowed to sell the products.

The sale of vapes to teens is already banned in a number of European countries, as there is “clear evidence that adolescent nicotine exposure can have long-term consequences for brain development,” the source added.

The Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Survey 2018 and the European Schools Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs 2019 showed that 9% of 12-to-17-year-olds and 15.5% of 15 and 16-year-olds used electronic cigarettes in the previous 30 days.

According to the World Health Organisation, there are 16,000 different flavours of vapes, including bubblegum and “gummy bears”.

There are concerns vaping is a gateway to smoking, with a study by the Health Research Board finding that children who vaped were five times more likely to start smoking.

The legislation banning the sale of vapes to under-18s is expected to come into force before the Dáil rises for its summer holidays on July 13.

Elsewhere, Education Minister Norma Foley will outline the details of a new wellbeing pilot that will provide counselling services in primary schools.