- Ban vaping flavours is wrong – they don’t attract teens, the help smokers quit
- Vapers in Ireland are aged between 35 and 65 and not teens
- People vape to quit tobacco, not to start smoking
- Vapers in Ireland are disappointed that the World Health Organisation (WHO) makes the serious error of ‘lumping’ vaping in its report on the progress in the fight against tobacco epidemic.
Vaping is NOT smoking. There is no tobacco in vaping products. Like other products such as gums, patches and sprays, vaping products include small amounts of nicotine to help the user ween off the smoking habit.
Mr Joe Dunne, Respect Vapers queries why WHO and certain medical experts refuse to look at the benefits of vaping in reducing the harm caused by smoking tobacco.
“This blinkered approach could cause an increase in tobacco-related deaths. If Governments look at banning flavours or making vaping too expensive, they run the risk of smokers returning to the habit or going online to get unregulated vaping products from abroad. Both are a recipe for disaster,” he said.
There are almost 200,000 people in Ireland vaping to help quit tobacco smoking. They ask legislators to look at all the facts when reviewing vaping.
*Vapers in Ireland support the view of Prof John Britton, Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology, in University of Nottingham, who said:
‘Non-smokers, especially children, should be discouraged from using any nicotine product. But for the one billion tobacco smokers in the world, electronic nicotine delivery systems are part of the solution not the problem.’
**The Government’s National Drug and Alcohol Survey, published 1st July 2021, puts to bed the myth that vaping is a gateway to smoking for young people and shows that the majority of vapers are aged over 35.
The survey found that 77% of those vaping did so to stop smoking, to help them cut down or to stay off cigarettes.
Independent research in Ireland and Europe shows that vaping is not a gateway to smoking for young people.
***The Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children study, released in March 2021, showed that youth smoking has plummeted in Ireland in recent decades. The percentage of 10–17-year-olds, who are current smokers fell from 22.6% in 1998 to 5.3% in 2018.
**In June 2021, ASH UK found that 77% of 11–17-year-olds never tried vaping (or are unaware of e-cigarettes (10.5%).
11.2% of 11–17-year-olds had tried vaping in 2021, (13.9% tried in 2020). This is largely unchanged from 2015 when 11.6% of 11–17-year-olds had tried e-cigarettes. Children under 16 are least likely to try e-cigarettes.
The request to ban flavours, because of the perception that they are ‘child-friendly’, is unwarranted as flavours have helped those who vape to stay away from tobacco.
Those starting vaping do so to quit tobacco, not to start smoking. The profile of those who vape in Ireland are aged between 35 and 65 and not teens.
***A comprehensive European survey of 37,000 people in 28 European countries found that 95% of vapers use flavours, with the remaining 5% opting for no flavour or a tobacco flavour.
The survey found that if vape flavours were restricted to tobacco flavour alone:
- 71.2% would consider using parallel sources to find flavours that suit them.
- 28% are afraid they would start smoking again, or smoke more.
This data indicates that flavour bans would cause social and economic harm. And above all, they would create great health insecurity by pushing consumers towards alternative sources which are outside the EU and unregulated.
Respect Vapers is a voluntary group that represents about 200,000 people in Ireland who have used vaping to quit smoking. Vaping is not smoking. When it comes to tobacco, we are quitters not starters. Indeed, we believe that those who have used vaping to quit smoking are the largest group of supporters of Healthy Ireland’s ‘Tobacco Free Ireland’ campaign in the country.
** The 2019–20 Irish National Drug and Alcohol Survey. Main findings (hrb.ie)