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'I've seen children using e-cigs and that is terrifying'

If passed, a new bill will mean ‘vaping’ becomes subject to the same regulation as ordinary cigarettes

shutterstock_140876200 (1) Shutterstock / scyther5 Shutterstock / scyther5 / scyther5

Updated: 17:30

A NEW BILL seeking to regulate the booming e-cigarette industry will be going before the Dáil in the near future.

The Public Health (Regulation of Electronic Cigarettes) Bill 2015 was launched at Leinster House this morning by Senators Averil Power and John Crown.

Fianna Fail Gender Equality Action Pla Senator Averil Power Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

E-cigarettes have become an incredibly popular quit-aid in recent times for hardened smokers, although lately the battery-powered ‘vaporisers’ are being marketed as much as an alternative to tobacco as a helping hand to kick the habit.

If passed, the new bill will ban:

  • the sale of e-cigarettes to under-18s
  • ‘vaping’ in public places and workplaces
  • advertising of e-cigarettes
  • sponsorship by vaporiser manufacturers and importers
  • smoking e-cigarettes in vehicles in which under-18s are present.

In other words, all the sanctions that apply to regular cigarettes.

The chief objection to e-cigarettes is that it has not been firmly established whether or not their effects are actually less harmful than smoking cigarettes.

“My chief concern is that I’ve seen children using e-cigarettes, and I think that’s terrifying,” Senator Power told TheJournal.ie.

We had the support of James Reilly when he was minister [for health], and hopefully now we can get Leo Varadkar on board.
If people want to smoke or use an e-cigarette as a quit-aid that’s their own choice obviously, but given we don’t know what the effects of these newer products are it makes sense to have them regulated the same as any other tobacco product, that is, a workplace ban and children not being able to buy them for starters.
There’s a lot of cynical marketing going on at present, specifically towards children and teens. It’s being said that ‘vaping’ is completely safe, and we simply don’t know if that’s true or not, some tests have shown these e-cigarettes are even more toxic than regular cigarettes.

shutterstock_126115868 Shutterstock / Ambelrip Shutterstock / Ambelrip / Ambelrip

Electronic cigarettes do not contain tobacco, although they do use nicotine.

The liquid cartridges used in these vaporisers are usually a mix of propylene glycol, glycerin, nicotine and flavourings.

Ireland would be relatively early to the party with such legislation as thus far certain American states have been leading the charge (California’s version of a regulatory bill has just been passed).

If successful in the Dáil the new bill could become law by summer 2015.

Article originally published 10:20 on 30/01/15

Read: A 40-a-day smoker has moved to Ethiopia to chase his dream of running for Ireland

Read: Casey the dog sniffs out 7.7 million cigarettes in ‘breakfast cereal’ boxes

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