Focus groups say politicians have lost a connection with the people
Independent research has found a growing perception across Ireland that politicians have lost a connection with the people and failed to listen to them.
The findings* from three regional focus group sessions, show that participants felt Government would tie-up Dàil time on non-essential ’PR wins’, deflecting from the important issues including housing, COVID-19, mental health and jobs.
The proposed restriction of access to vaping – according to both vapers and non-vapers- is the wrong law at the wrong time, and result in damaging consequences.
Mr Joe Dunne, Respect Vapers said Irish vapers have called on the Government to respect the fact they represent a large percentage of those supporting the reduction of tobacco harm in Ireland.
“There is significant evidence that the 240,000 who have quit cigarettes by vaping, are the first wave of an army of ex-smokers who contributed greatly to the Government’s Tobacco Free Ireland plan. It’s time to listen to them,” he said.
More medical opinions point to the suggestion that vaping helps smokers give up their habit. In doing so, they reduce the harm caused by smoking-induced cancer.
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 altogether.
Patients at hospitals in Norfolk, London, Leicester, and Edinburgh will be offered a device, enough e-liquid for a week and a referral to local smoking cessation services. NHS experts in the UK say that they are much less harmful than traditional cigarettes.
Michael Dwyer from Gorey Co. Wexford, successfully quit smoking by vaping, and argues that the Government’s approach is misguided.
“They must understand that vaping is NOT smoking and those who vape are quitters, not starters. The majority of people who vape are over 35. They have tried everything to quit, including patches, gums and sprays, without success.
“In effect this growing group of over 200,000 are saying ‘No to Tobacco’ every day in Ireland,” he said.
Dr Garrett McGovern, Medical Director of the Priority Medical Clinic, a private addiction treatment clinic in Dublin and a member of the board of directors of EUROPAD (European Opiate Addiction Treatment Association), said Ireland should be embracing vaping as a proven method of helping people give up tobacco.
“Vaping should be promoted as one of the most effective ways to quit smoking. Vaping has been around for almost two decades and our hospitals are not full of patients with vaping-related illnesses.” he said.
*The focus group survey was carried out by Sentio.