According to a report by RTÉ, the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, has announced the banning of nicotine-inhaling products, like e-cigarettes or ‘vapes’, from being sold to people under the age of 18.
The Public Health (Tobacco Products and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill comes into effect from tomorrow, Friday 22 December.
Offence To Sell
The Minister secured Cabinet approval earlier this year, and, under the new law, it is an offence – with a fine of up to €4,000 and a prison sentence of up to six months – to sell a nicotine-inhaling product to a minor.
The legislation contains other measures to combat smoking and vaping among children and adults, including the prohibition of selling tobacco and nicotine-inhaling products to children at events, and there will be a stricter retail/licensing system for the sale of these products.
The advertising of nicotine-inhaling products around schools and on public transport will also be banned.
‘Into Law Before Christmas’
In relation to the announcement, Donnelly said, “I committed to bringing this ban on the sale of vaping products to under-18s into law before Christmas, and I am pleased that I have been able to do that by signing the commencement order.
“I thank colleagues in both Houses of the Oireachtas, who understood the urgency for our children and who supported me to get this law enacted quickly,” he added.
In November, Donnelly and Hildegarde Naughton, the Minister for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, launched a public consultation into the future regulation of tobacco and nicotine-inhaling products.
Naughton said, “I look forward to the results of our public consultation on the options for the further regulation of nicotine-inhaling products, particularly around flavourings and packaging.
“We know that young people who vape are more likely to go on to smoke, so it is important that they are not drawn to these products,” she added.