Ban on sale of vapes to under-18s comes into force on Friday, 22 December

Penalties could include a fine of up to €4,000 and up to six months in prison



21 December 2023

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A new law banning the sale of vapes and e-cigarettes to under-18s will come into effect in the Republic of Ireland tomorrow (Friday, 22 December).

From Friday onwards, the new order signed by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly will make it an offence to sell a nicotine inhaling product, such as e-cigarettes, to a child.

The penalties can include a fine of up to €4,000 (£3,461) and up to six months in prison.

Minister Donnelly said he was “pleased” the ban could be implemented into law before Christmas.

The latest move in the Republic of Ireland mirrors similar legislation in the UK. England and Wales implemented the ban in 2015, followed by Scotland in 2017 and Northern Ireland in 2022.

Minister Donnelly thanked colleagues in the Oireachtas who “understood the urgency for our children” and supported him in getting the law enacted quickly.

Further regulations of e-cigarettes and proposals in tobacco control will be reviewed in the new year, he added. This will follow the findings of a public consultation on measures which is currently open until Friday 5 January 2024.

The government first introduced The Public Health (Tobacco Products and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill 2023 earlier this year with the goal of preventing the initiation of smoking or use of nicotine-inhaling products by children.

Alongside prohibiting the sale of such items to under-18s, the act will also:

  • Prohibit the sale of tobacco and nicotine-inhaling products at events for children
  • Stop the self-service sale of tobacco and vapes
  • Introduce a strict licensing system for the retail sale of such products
  • Prohibit the advertising of such products around schools and on public transport




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