TDs & Senators failed to listen to 200,000 vapers while scrutinising Health Bill.
Misrepresentation of vaping accepted by Committee without question.
Vapers believe Committee members have lost a connection with the people
Many vapers throughout the country informed TDs and Senators of their anger in the way the Health Committee failed to invite them and other groups representing the people of Ireland to its pre-legislative scrutiny of the Public Health (Tobacco) Bill.
The pre-legislative scrutiny concluded with two NGOs introducing suggestions for banning flavoured vaping, banning sales to u21s, plain packaging, despite the fact that none were included in the Bill to be scrutinised.
Along with other groups representing various sectors of Irish society and clinical experts, vapers asked to have their voices heard at the Committee. By ignoring their voices, they believe the Committee highlights the growing perception across Ireland that politicians have lost a connection with the people.
Excluding the voice of the people in this democratic process, in this fashion, has left vapers frustrated at the complete lack of acknowledgement by Committee members of the experience of vapers who quit one of the most addictive products — smoking.
They fear that the Health Committee will unilaterally try to force a ban on flavoured vaping, based on ill-informed assumptions that are not backed up by scientific research. This could result in thousands of tobacco quitters returning to cigarettes.
In advance of its scrutiny meeting on 17th November, Respect Vapers, which represents vapers in Ireland, sent the Committee a briefing note on flavoured vaping. It showed how flavoured vaping helps former smokers overcome the habit. The content was backed up with Irish and international research.
Yet the Committee members never made any reference to the briefing note and international research, or questioned the inaccurate statements from two NGO groups at that meeting.
Mr Joe Dunne, Respect Vapers wondered if they even read the briefing note and said by failing to listen to the people, the Committee missed the key message that vapers are quitters not tobacco starters.
Irish vapers have called on the Government to respect the fact they represent a large percentage of those supporting the reduction of smoking in Ireland.
There is increased evidence that the 200,000 Irish smokers, who are quitting cigarettes by vaping, are the first wave of an army of ex-smokers who contributed greatly to the Government’s Tobacco Free Ireland plan.
More medical opinions point to the suggestion that vaping helps smokers give up their habit and, in doing so, reduce the harm caused by smoking-induced cancer.
This confidence in vaping is growing and now smokers attending emergency departments in four British cities are to be given free vaping products and taught how to use them. The plan is part of a trial designed to help people quit smoking.
Note: Vaping products are strictly regulated in Ireland. HSE assesses and approves all vaping products before going to market. Vaping is not smoking. It does not involve burning tobacco.