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Press Release

Minister for Health welcomes Government approval to draft a Public Health (Tobacco and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill

Published: 22 October 2019
From: Department of Health

Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD has today welcomed the approval from Government to draft a Public Health (Tobacco and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill.

The proposed legislation will:

  • prohibit the sale of nicotine inhaling products to persons under 18 years
  • prohibit the sale of tobacco products and nicotine inhaling products by those under 18 years
  • prohibit the sale of tobacco products from self-service vending machines
  • prohibit the sale of tobacco products at events/locations primarily intended for persons under 18 years
  • introduce a licensing system for the sale of (a) tobacco products and (b) nicotine inhaling products to include an annual fee per premises for the sale of such, in such an amount as may be determined by the Minister
  • introduce minimum suspension periods for tobacco retailers convicted of offences
  • introduce fixed penalty notices (on the spot fines) for offences
  • provide for the publication of information in respect of any person on whom a fine, other penalty or conviction is imposed by a court (‘name and shame’)

Minister Harris said:

“I am pleased to be bringing forward this important piece of legislation which will help us achieve a tobacco free Ireland, where our children can grow up without harm from tobacco.
“Tobacco costs the Irish exchequer a total of €10.6 billion every year and 6,000 deaths a year are caused by smoking. I am determined to continue to make the necessary legislative changes to confront this challenge and help reach our goal of being Tobacco Free.
"The measures in relation to nicotine inhaling products recognises that these products are not ordinary consumer goods but products that contain a highly addictive substance which should not be available to children. As the industry continues to adapt, we must ensure it is not able to lure our children into this deadly addiction."

The Minister will now refer the General Scheme of the Bill to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health for pre-legislative scrutiny.

ENDS

Notes to the Editor:

The proposed legislation, which is in line with the recommendations of Tobacco Free Ireland will:

  • introduce a licensing system for the sale of (a) tobacco products and (b) nicotine inhaling products to include an annual fee per premises for the sale of such, in such an amount as may be determined by the Minister
  • prohibit the sale of tobacco products from self-service vending machines
  • prohibit the sale of tobacco products from mobile units/containers
  • prohibit the sale of tobacco products and nicotine inhaling products by those under 18 years
  • prohibit the sale of nicotine inhaling products to persons under 18 years (the sale of tobacco products to persons under 18 years is already prohibited under the Public Health (Tobacco) Acts 2002-2015)
  • prohibit the sale of tobacco products at events/locations primarily intended for persons under 18 years
  • introduce minimum suspension periods for tobacco retailers convicted of offences
  • introduce fixed penalty notices (on the spot fines) for offences
  • provide for the publication of information in respect of any person on whom a fine, other penalty or conviction is imposed by a court (‘name and shame’)

Nicotine inhaling products (also known as Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) and electronic cigarettes) are available in a wide variety of models but the mechanism of delivery of nicotine is similar. Electronic cigarettes heat a solution (e-liquid) to create an aerosol or vapour which users inhale. The e-liquid usually contains nicotine as well as chemicals such as propylene glycol and can also include glycerol and flavourings.

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