People who vape to quit smoking support the call for Government to review its Tobacco Free Ireland policy.
Last week, Dr Paul Kavanagh, Specialist in Public Health Medicine and Chair of the new ‘stop smoking’ clinical guidance development group, said there should be an interim “review” of that policy and goal.
The Tobacco Free Ireland plan, launched in 2013, set out to reduce the number of people smoking to 5% of the population by 2025.
Joe Dunne, founder of Respect Vapers, which represents over 200,000 people who vape to quit smoking, agreed with Dr Kavanagh that the 5% target cannot be reached within three years, and he called for the Government review to embrace the role vaping plays in helping people quit cigarettes.
“The Healthy Ireland Survey 2021 reported that 18% of the population are currently smoking. That’s down about 7% in nine years. If you exclude the smokers who used vaping to quit tobacco in the survey, the percentage would be much higher. If the current plan remains, Ireland won’t hit the 5% target till 2052, That’s twenty-seven years after the current deadline.”
Joe said it was unrealistic for the Government to expect a reduction of 13% in less than three years and supports Dr Kavanagh’s view: ‘the “reality” is the goal is increasingly unrealistic. It’s time to have a review of the plan.’
“This review must take into account the experience of people in Ireland who quit smoking by vaping and the national and international research, backing up their stories.”
“It is also time for public representatives to stop the ‘tunnel vision’ approach to vaping. Unlike other Governments in the world, they have failed to listen to the people and won’t accept the independent international research on the contribution vaping has made to tobacco reduction,” he said.