Government Chief Whip and Minister of State, Paul Kehoe TD, has written to the Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly TD, and the State’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Tony Holohan, asking them to clarify the legal status and health implications of electronic cigarettes.
“The glamorous advertising of electronic cigarettes has, over the last few months, become a cause of concern for many. TDs, myself included, have been approached by people concerned about advertisements, primarily aimed at young people, for a product for which the health effects are uncertain.
“The recent statement of the World Health Organisation raises even more concerns about these products. The WHO made a statement last month on electronic cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems, outlining concerns they have about the health implications that exist for those who use these devices. The WHO concluded that until these devices are deemed safe, consumers should be strongly advised not to use any of these products.
“Governments, including those across the EU, are reviewing how they will regulate these new products, including the issues of advertising. I have contacted Minister Reilly and I have been assured that the Department is currently reviewing these products. I have also written to the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Tony Holohan, asking him to review these products as I believe that the manufacturers of these devices are using the current uncertainty to attract customers before the health implications are fully understood and the products regulated.
“Since his appointment, Minister Reilly has prioritised reducing the number of smokers in Ireland including announcing last May that Ireland will introduce plain packaging for cigarettes. I am confident that he will move swiftly to introduce strong regulation of these devices”.