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IRELAND: Towards a bill limiting access to e-cigarettes among young people

IRELAND: Towards a bill limiting access to e-cigarettes among young people

In Ireland, following a report of the Irish European Schools Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD), the government could well launch a bill limiting access to e-cigarettes among young people.


39% OF STUDENTS HAVE ALREADY USED AN E-CIGARETTE!


The Minister of State for Public Health, Welfare and the National Drug Strategy, Frank Feighan , presented today the Irish European Schools Project report on alcohol and other drugs (ESPAD). ESPAD is a cross-European survey conducted every four years on substance use among students aged 15 and 16 in 39 countries. It monitors trends in alcohol and drug use, smoking and gambling, gambling, and Internet use.

The Ireland report was produced by the TobaccoFree Research Institute Ireland for the Department of Health and includes data for a total of 1 Irish pupils born in 949 in a random sample of 2003 secondary schools.

Among the main conclusions of the ESPAD 2019 report on Ireland, it is presented that 32% of respondents had tried smoking and 14% were current smokers (reported smoking in the past 30 days) with 5% smoking daily). Regarding the e-cigarette, 39% of students respondents said they had ever used an e-cigarette; 16% of whom said they had used one in the past 30 days.

Regarding the conclusions on the use of tobacco and e-cigarettes, Minister Feighan sent a strong message to adolescents:

 If you want to lead a healthy and prosperous life in the future, don't start smoking or vaping. I say this because it is a stark reality that one in two children who attempt to use tobacco products will eventually become a smoker. We know that one in two smokers will die prematurely from a smoking-related illness. We must therefore strongly urge our children and their parents that smoking causes so much unnecessary and tragic loss of life.

Recent reviews of e-cigarette data by the Health Research Board found that the use of e-cigarettes by teens is associated with an increased likelihood of them falling into smoking afterwards. This underlines the importance of our public health. A bill will therefore ban the sale of nicotine inhalation products, including electronic cigarettes, to people under the age of 18. This will also introduce a licensing system for the sale of tobacco products containing nicotine.
The bill will also strengthen the protection of children by prohibiting the sale of tobacco products in places and events aimed at children. It will also ban their sale in self-service vending machines and temporary or mobile units, which will further reduce their availability and visibility. I am determined to oversee the introduction of this very important legislation. " 

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