The use of e-cigs among young people “a real risk”
HSE’s national head of the tobacco-free program said e-cigarette consumption among young people represents a “worrying trend” as a TD called for strict restrictions on the advertising and sale of these products.
Martina Blake of HSE said the use of e-cigarettes poses a “real risk” and “real concern” for younger age groups, and increases the chances that they will become tobacco smokers later in life. life.
According to recent Healthy Ireland surveys, those under 25 are more likely to have used e-cigarettes, with 14% having tried them at some time and 4% currently using them.
The most recent European Schools Alcohol and Drugs Survey project in 2019 found that 37% of 15-16 year olds in Ireland had tried e-cigarettes at some point. And 15% had used them in the last 30 days.
Ms Blake said there is strong legislation to ban point-of-sale advertising for tobacco, but it is not in place for e-cigarettes.
“We have seen an increase in the consumption of electronic cigarettes, especially among adolescents,” she said.
Meanwhile, Colm Burke of Fine Gael said limits should be introduced on advertising of electronic cigarettes.
“While the government has taken action to tackle the potential dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes with the introduction of new legislation, which includes banning the purchase of e-cigarettes by those under the age of 18, it more needs to be done, ”said Burke.
Mr Burke said a ban on advertising on billboards and on public transport, as well as the introduction of plain packaging are “urgently needed” to protect public health.
In a statement, the health ministry said a bill providing for further regulation of e-cigarettes is currently being drafted by the attorney general’s office and is due for pre-legislative review.