Ireland Set To Ban Vape Sales To Minors Before Christmas

Ireland Set To Ban Vape Sales To Minors Before Christmas

The Irish government is poised to pass new legislation that will make it illegal to sell vaping products to anyone under 18 years old. The ban aims to protect children and curb rising youth vaping rates in the country.

New Fines and Jail Time for Selling Vapes to Minors

Under the proposed law, retailers caught selling vapes to minors could face fines of up to €4,000 or up to 6 monthsA in prison. The Public Health (Tobacco Products and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill is expected to pass through the final stages in the Dáil and Seanad shortly.

The health minister hopes the ban will take effect before Christmas once signed into law by President Michael D. Higgins. The bill also prohibits vape advertisements within 200 meters of any school or on public transportation.

Addressing the Surge in Teen Vaping

While vaping was initially promoted as a smoking cessation aid, it has rapidly gained popularity among youth who have never smoked. Recent data shows vaping rates among Irish teens are rising at an alarming rate.

The new laws aim to deter children from accessing vape products amid growing health concerns over nicotine addiction and exposure to harmful chemicals.

“It is really urgent. We’re putting a second piece of legislation in place…looking at things like advertising, where people are buying them or point of sale, at colours, at flavourings, at single use disposable vapes – which I think we need to ban outright,” said Health Minister Stephen Donnelly.

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The Push to Ban Flavored, Disposable Vapes

The health minister also revealed plans for additional legislation that would prohibit the sale of flavored, single-use disposable vapes that have become very popular among youth.

A flavor ban could have a significant impact, as research shows fun flavors like fruit and candy are a key factor attracting minors to vaping. Disposable vapes are also discreet, easy to hide from parents and teachers.

Will Other Anti-Vaping Measures Follow?

Along with restricting sales and marketing to minors, experts believe Ireland should consider other steps used in countries like the UK and New Zealand.

This could include plain packaging, stricter labeling requirements, nicotine limits per mL of liquid, and specialized store licenses only for retailers meeting certain conditions.

A comprehensive policy approach is vital to reverse the worrying upward trend of adolescent vaping.

Matthew Ma