Changes to legislation will extend delay in banning vaping sales to under-18s, says BAT Ireland
Delay means Ireland remains among just seven EU countries which do not ban underage vaping sales, according to BAT Ireland
20 July 2022
One of Ireland’s leading vaping businesses says that the Health Committee’s recommendation to significantly alter proposed vaping legislation will delay efforts to prevent under-18s from accessing vaping products
BAT Ireland – which sells leading vaping brands such as Vuse, Cirro and Ten Motives – said that responsible voices in the industry had been calling for a ban on underage sales for many years.
The Public Health (Tobacco and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill currently under discussion contains this provision, but the Joint Committee on Health’s new report on the bill calls for fundamental changes including a total ban on flavoured vaping products amongst other restrictions.
Simon Carroll, the country manager of BAT Ireland, said that the committee’s proposals would prolong the existing situation where Ireland is one of the only EU countries not to ban underage sales, while also making it harder for adult smokers to access viable alternatives which have already allowed hundreds of thousands of Irish people to move away from smoking.
“Ireland remains one of only seven countries across the EU where there is no ban on the sale of vaping products to under-18s,” Carroll said. “For years, along with other members of Vape Business Ireland, BAT Ireland has been calling for this legislation to be introduced, and for years, politicians have dragged their heels.
“Now the Health Committee wants to press pause on the under-18 ban in order to begin considering all the ways they could make it harder for adult vapers to stay off smoking by taking away the tools which have made their transition away from cigarettes possible,” Carroll said.
“This is disappointing, particularly as it comes at the same time as the UK is increasing its efforts to promote vaping as a ‘swap to stop’ tool.”
Should the recommendations contained within the committee’s report be included within the planned legislation, several additional steps will need to be taken including a public consultation and regulatory impact assessment due to the impact on vape stores.
The government will also need to notify the European Union due to concerns about internal trade barriers which will put the bill on a mandatory standstill.
Carroll pointed to the efforts which BAT Ireland has taken – in the absence of government legislation – to combat youth access, including the introduction of its Youth Access Prevention programme, Verify, which provides training and in-store education materials to staff across thousands of outlets nationwide.
Research from the HRB (Health Research Board) found that adolescents who had used an e-cigarette were between three and five times more likely to start smoking compared to those who never used e-cigarettes.