Ireland to introduce further restrictions on vaping through new Public Health Bill

Ireland to introduce further restrictions on vaping through the Public Health (Tobacco and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill 2019

The Irish Minister for Health Simon Harris TD is planning to change the rules on how vaping products are used and sold in Ireland, which will go beyond provisions set down in TPD II. The Public Health (Tobacco and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill 2019, which has already been approved by Cabinet – and will now be read by the Irish Parliament – has the potential to contract the vaping market in Ireland and have a negative impact on the 246,000 plus users of vaping products in Ireland and on the sector as a whole. There are also reports that vape shops could be charged up to €500 a year to sell vape products – a stealth tax on small businesses.

The Minister enjoys public support of the Irish Heart Foundation and the Irish Cancer Society who are both calling for a ban on flavours as well as a proposals to restrict the advertising of vaping products – this ban does not currently form part of the draft Public Health Bill but the Minister had indicated that he is examining his options in this regard.

The Public Health (Tobacco and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill 2019 proposes:

  • The introduction of a licensing system for the sale of nicotine inhaling products.
  • The Prohibition on the sale of tobacco products or nicotine inhaling products by persons under the age of 18 years and the prohibition on the sale of tobacco products and nicotine inhaling products to persons under the age of 18 years.
  • Sanctions up to and including suspension of a license by the court upon conviction and minimum suspension periods.

The Pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Bill will commence end January 2020 and Vape Business Ireland will be invited to appear before the Public Health Committee.  Once done, the draft Bill will be read by the entire Parliament, before final adoption before the end of the year. Should such regulations be enacted in Ireland, it sets a dangerous precedent for the vaping category in Europe, right as discussions about TPD3 get under way, and could have spill – over effects on the UK vaping environment

Vape Business Ireland is Ireland’s largest vaping trade association, committed to an open debate about vaping products in Ireland. If you are interested in further detail on the bill and/or process or wish to get involved in efforts to ensure that an evidence-based proportionate bill is adopted, please contact our colleagues at Vape Business Ireland on info@vapebusinessireland.ie