Ireland should consider banning flavoured vapes to help prevent children and young people from taking up the habit, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Senator James Reilly, a bye-election candidate in Dublin Fingal, said: “Research into the effects of vaping is still very much ongoing but there do appear to be significant risks linked to vaping.
“While the science is still evolving, it is clear to me that we should not be making vaping an attractive prospect, particularly for children and young people.
“A large cohort of the available range of vape flavours are designed to attract children and young people including candy, bubblegum and similar flavours marketed with catchy names and bright colours.
“Ireland is set to ban menthol cigarettes next year and it makes sense that flavoured vapes would also be banned for the very same reason.
“Recent reports of a new type of lung illness and concern over how these companies are targeting children has led two US States, Michigan and New York, to outlaw the sale of flavoured vapes. This is something that needs to be considered urgently here.
“Vapes are not ‘quit smoking’ devices. While they may be helpful for some people in their initial journey to quit, we must take into account that the companies behind these devices are betting on long-term use,” he added.
“Our approach must be rooted in the idea that vapes are designed to introduce people to a new habit and keep them active in that habit.
“We have limited research on the use of vaping among young people here in Ireland. However the Irish Cancer Society has expressed fears that without decisive action, Irish teenagers might follow the trend seen in the US where a recent study found a spike in young people vaping (see note to editor 1 and 2).
“I welcome my colleague Health Minister Simon Harris’ commitment to outlaw the sale of vapes to people under the age of 18, as we cannot risk a situation where vaping is a gateway to smoking.
“We need to ensure that we are progressive in our legislative handling of new technologies such as vapes,” he concluded.
Note to editor: