Vapers throughout the country have expressed their anger at the Oireachtas Health Committee for ignoring scientific experts and 200,000 vapers on the dangers of banning flavoured vapes in Ireland.
The Oireachtas Committee on Health is recommending that the Government BANS flavoured vapes in Ireland. It states: “The Bill should regulate the flavouring of e-cigarettes and all flavours except for tobacco, should be strictly prohibited so as not to entice minors”.
The Committee’s view that flavours in vaping products attract teens to smoking is wrong. A study of 37,105 people aged 16-24 by **University College London found that vaping was not a gateway to cigarette smoking for teenagers and young adults. It ruled out previous research that suggested young vapers were prone to taking up smoking.
According to Respect Vapers, the Committee’s recommendation is based on the views of those with little or no experience in helping people with smoking addiction issues.
Flavour in vapes are vital for quitting cigarettes. When you stop smoking your taste buds come back and you hate the taste of tobacco. Flavours help through that phase, that’s why other products like nicotine gums are also flavoured.
The Committee refused to meet with vapers, who come from every constituency in the country, to learn from their experience on how vaping has helped them quit smoking. They also ignored independent polling, showing that a flavoured vape ban will force Irish vapers back to cigarettes or to buy unregulated flavoured products abroad.
A national *Red C survey shows that 96% of vapers in Ireland would not favour an outright ban on flavoured vapes. The research, conducted by in March 2022 found that 84% of vapers believed a flavours ban would create a black market for the products, while a majority (59%) said they would source the products abroad or online.
The Government must ban the sale of flavoured vapes to under 18s and regulate packaging rather than ban flavoured vapes, which are relied upon by two-thirds of vapers to stay off cigarettes. The age profile of vapers in Ireland is over 35, not teens. And many have tried everything else to quit.
Since 2013, the Government has struggled to reduce smoking in Ireland. Back then it was at 25%. That was the time vaping became popular. Today it is reported that 18% of the population smoke. Over 6% of adults vape to quit, stay off or reduce the amount they smoke.
Without the contribution vaping has made in helping people quit during that period, the percentage of people smoking would be up still in the mid-20s. A ban on flavours will negatively affect the Tobacco Free Ireland programme. The proposed ban flies in the face of current studies and the approaches taken in other countries.