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Department of Health hopes to regulate e-cigarettes this year

After concerns in the US over children being poisoned by the liquid inside, the Department says it will be bringing forward regulations in 2014.

Image: ppi09 via Shutterstock

THERE ARE NO specific regulations governing electronic cigarettes in Ireland, with the Department of Health saying that they plan to have rules in place this year.

Concern has been raised about the safety of the liquid inside the e-cigarettes, which if ingested on its own can be harmful.

In the US, poison control centres reported a nationwide hike of 161 per cent in the number of calls related to the devices last year.

However,a spokesperson for the Department of Health confirmed to TheJournal.ie that the devices fall under catch-all European legislation.

“Tobacco Free Ireland, Ireland’s tobacco control policy, points out that the general consensus at European level is that there is a lack of research in relation to the longterm health effects of e-cigarettes, and a lack of sufficient evidence that they aid with smoking cessation.

As they are not presented as medicinal products for smoking cessation or as medical devices with a therapeutic purpose, e-cigarettes do not fall under the medicinal products or medical devices legislation. As electronic cigarettes do not contain tobacco they are currently not regulated under tobacco legislation.

The Department spokesperson went on to say that the devices fall under general product safety legislation.

They did, however, say that a plan to make e-cigarettes childproof was among regulations that were being proposed.

“The new EU Tobacco Products Directive, the ultimate purpose of which is to reduce the numbers of people smoking, includes provisions for the regulation of e-cigarettes. These provisions include specifying that only electronic cigarettes that deliver the nicotine doses consistently should be allowed, and that e-cigarettes should be child- and tamperproof.

“The Commission hope that the Directive will be adopted in 2014.”

Read: Smokers spend an average of 25 minutes a day outside work smoking

Read: HSE says hospitals will be smoke-free by 2015

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