Vape Business Ireland is Ireland’s largest vaping trade association, committed to an open debate about vaping products in Ireland. We have formed this alliance to ensure that our sector, and the consumers we represent, are properly represented in the debate on the regulation of vaping products which must be balanced and evidence-based.
The manufacture, supply, distribution and sale of vaping products must be regulated in a responsible manner while upholding the principles of consumer choice for adults, particularly for adult smokers who wish to find an alternative to tobacco products. Our membership spans the vaping product supply chain from manufacture to sale.
We want to engage with the European Commission to ensure that regulatory and fiscal measures neither unduly restrict the development of this market nor create unfair competition between SMEs active in Ireland and those selling online to Irish consumers from other Member States.
Vaping products are not cigarettes.
Vaping products do not contain tobacco and do not burn any organic material. They should not be taxed as tobacco products.
Vaping products are adequately taxed as a consumer good. The Tax Strategy Group recognised this in July 2017, as ‘many sources consider e-cigarettes to be a cessation tool’ and that ‘there are risks associated with moving ahead without a harmonised approach [across EU Member States]’.
Vaping products are a reality in Ireland – estimates suggest the number of regular vaping product users currently in Ireland to be in the region of 100,000 -150,000 (Healthy Ireland Survey). Vaping products have the potential to see many more Irish smokers consider them as viable alternatives.
Vaping products have the potential to see many more Irish smokers consider them as viable alternatives to tobacco products. Independent academic research has shown vaping products are primarily used as an alternative to smoking. The Healthy Ireland Survey of 2016 showed that 99% of people who use vaping products are former smokers. It also shows just 0.1% of never smokers use vaping products.
Smokers need to have all of the information on alternatives to smoking available to them, and information on vaping should be published by the Department of Health and the HSE on Quit.ie. This is backed by the HIQA Health Technology Asssessment into smoking cessation, which recommended informing smokers about all alternatives to smoking.
HIQA’s report also acknowledged that 29% of adult Irish smokers who successfully quit smoking used vaping to do so, falling to 18% for nicotine replacement therapies such as gums and patches.
Vaping is second only to Varenicline in cost-effectiveness for smokers looking for an alternative to smoking.
The vaping products market is an evolving market and as such regulation should remain fit for purpose as the market develops.
Vaping products are a product of choice for adults – and should never be sold to minors. Therefore marketing and advertising of vaping products should be socially responsible and only sold to adults.
There is no evidence to suggest that vaping products are leading to young people smoking. A 2017 study entitled ‘Young People’s Use of E-Cigarettes in the U.K.’ carried out five large-scale surveys involving 60,000 11-16 year olds. The study found that:
- Regular use of vaping products amongst all young people was 3% or less.
- Among young people who smoke regularly, use of vaping products ranged from 7% – 38%.
- Among those who have never smoked, regular use of vaping products was negligible – between 0.1% – 0.5%.
We call on the Department of Health to take heed of this research from the UK and support similar studies in Ireland to move towards their goal of tobacco-free Ireland by 2025.
We estimate that the vaping sector already employs about 300 people directly in Ireland, with many more indirectly employed (retailers etc.). We are keen to ensure that regulatory measures – such as a licensing system linked to a fee – neither unduly restricts the development of this market nor creates unfair competition between SMEs active in Ireland in this sector and those selling online to Irish consumers from other jurisdictions.
Vape Business Ireland is in partnership with The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA)