Ireland delays underage vaping ban, BAT Ireland pushes for urgent legislation
The memo was initially approved for the Bill nine years ago when Leo Varadkar was Minister for Health
21 September 2023
The nine-year wait for legislation to ban the sale of vapes to under-18s must be prioritised by the Government on its return from the summer recess, says BAT Ireland (British American Tobacco), one of the country’s leading vape businesses.
Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly announced that a ban on the sale of vapes to under-18s would come into effect in July after Cabinet agreed to prioritise the legislation. Now four months later and it has yet to be introduced, leaving Ireland lagging behind the majority of EU countries who have already prohibited sales to under-18s.
The Public Health Tobacco and Nicotine Inhaling Products Bill wasn’t finalised before the summer recess having only completed Second Stage in the Dáil. It was due to undergo Third Stage on Wednesday 20 September but the meeting of the Health Committee has since been cancelled. Leaving no indication of a timeline for when the Bill is expected to be introduced.
The memo was first approved for the Bill back in June 2014 when Leo Varadkar was Minister for Health.
BAT works with over 3,000 retailers across Ireland on youth access prevention programmes. All retailers are provided with posters, stickers and other materials to display at point of sale.
David Melinn, country manager, BAT Ireland, has called on the Government to rapidly introduce age restrictions on vapes. Melinn said: “There is widespread support for a ban on underage sales so it remains unclear as to why the Government is still dragging its heels on a piece of legislation that it agreed to nine years ago.
“BAT Ireland has been calling for a ban on underage sales for years. Vaping should only ever be used by adult smokers who are looking to quit. Vapes or e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco and are a reduced-risk product that can help adult smokers to move away from cigarettes.Vaping is playing a vitally important role in helping adult smokers to quit but it’s important that legislation is in place to ensure under-18s cannot access these products. This legislation will be key to enforcing this.”