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Global vaping community calls on World Health Organisation to reverse moves to ban vaping

Vape Business Ireland (VBI) has joined an international push for the World Health Organisation (WHO) to reform its stance on vaping regulation. This will be the first time that international consumer groups and leaders of the vaping industry join forces to reform discordant global health policies. Organisations from across North America, Europe, Asia and Australasia have signed this call to action. The WHO’s tobacco control group will be meeting at the 8th session of its Conference of the Parties (COP8) in Geneva (1-6 October) to explore international guidance on Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (vaping products/e-cigarettes). Despite having recognised vaping’s potential for reducing smoking rates, the WHO tobacco control group took the contradictory stance in 2016 that member states could also ban vaping products outright as part of a tobacco control plan. The WHO’s position is at odds with member states, in particular those such as the UK and New Zealand, who advocate smokers switching to vaping as part of harm-reduction policy. The UAE, Philippines and Australia are also currently considering lifting their bans on vaping. International vaping bodies have come together out of concern that the WHO’s stance may compromise the progress made by countries who have embraced vaping, by opening the door to potential bans. Vapers believe the WHO tobacco control group’s messaging is not only detrimental to public health, but unaccountable, least of all to the consumers whose taxes fund but do not appear to influence its policies. VBI Director Micheal Kenneally said: “We and our international co-signatories are proud to stand up for vaping as a route for smokers seeking a less harmful alternative. We are...

UK Parliament Committee concludes that vaping products should not be treated in the same way as cigarettes and are not a ‘gateway’ to smoking.

Vape Business Ireland (VBI) has welcomed a new report from the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee which held five oral evidence sessions between January and May 2018, to examine the evidence on the health impacts and on vaping products role as a smoking cessation tool. They received over 100 pieces of written evidence and held hearing from 25 witnesses.   The Committee concluded that: Vaping products should not be treated in the same way as conventional cigarettes; e-cigarettes are not a significant ‘gateway’, including for young non-smokers, to conventional smoking and do not pose a significant risk through second-hand inhalation; NHS England should set a policy of mental health facilities allowing vaping product use by patients unless trusts can demonstrate evidence-based reasons for not doing so; The UK Government should continue to annually review the evidence on the health effects of vaping products; And are calling on the UK Government to reconsider limits on refill strengths and tank sizes; and the approval systems for stop smoking therapies such vaping products. The final report and press release will be available here On Friday 17 August.   In direct contrast to their counterparts across the globe, the HSE and other public health campaigners in Ireland do not endorse vaping or even provide basic information on vaping products to Irish smokers looking to switch to vaping on Quit.ie. Stop Smoking New Zealand, The American Cancer Society Public Health England, Cancer Research UK and many others have endorsed vaping as a viable alternative to smoking. Supported by information from their State, millions of smokers have embraced vaping as alternative to smoking across the...

Vape Business Ireland calls for no excise on vaping products in Budget 2019

Vape Business Ireland (VBI) are calling on the Government not to introduce excise tax on vaping products in Budget 2019. Vaping products are not cigarettes and do not contain tobacco and therefore should not have an excise placed on them. The Department of Health has committed to achieving a Tobacco Free Ireland with a very ambitious target of 5% adult smokers by 2025. Applying excise to vaping will undermine the 150,000 adult vapers in Ireland, of which 99% are ex-smokers, according to the Healthy Ireland Survey 2017 . The vaping market is a fast-evolving sector and imposing excise would run a high risk of stifling its growth. VBI members estimate that the vaping sector already employs about 300 people directly in Ireland, with many more indirectly employed. Imposing excise on vaping products sold in Ireland could undermine Irish SMEs and benefit online sellers outside the jurisdiction, who make up an estimated 70% of the Irish market. Due to the ease of cheap international cross-border online purchases, an excise is highly likely to push the consumer to purchase outside of Ireland. VBI Director Michael Kenneally commented: “Vaping has a major role to play in the Government’s plans to create a Tobacco Free Ireland by 2025. To impose excise on the product is to undermine their potential to assist the State in achieving its 2025 objectives. Vaping products do not contain tobacco and are a less harmful alternative to smoking. These products should be embraced and encouraged, not taxed or placed in the same bracket as smoking. It is important we support those looking for an alternative to cigarettes, and as...

Vape Business Ireland Welcome HSE’s “Bold Vision Demanding a Game Change” for a Tobacco Free Ireland

Vape Business Ireland (VBI) has welcomed the new report from the Tobacco Free Ireland which outlines the HSE’s plans to continue to try to understand and determine policy on the role of vaping as a tool for the “tobacco endgame” in Ireland. The report shows that vaping is the second most important tool for those looking to quit smoking at 27%, second only after willpower alone. The report also shows a rate of 0% of e-cigarette use among never-smokers. VBI is again calling on the HSE and Quit.ie to provide information about vaping on their website to smokers who wish to reduce their tobacco consumption. VBI director Michael Kenneally said “VBI is delighted that the HSE is ready to understand and determine the opportunity that vaping might have towards the tobacco endgame. We hope that by engaging with all stakeholders, including manufacturers of vaping products that this is the start of a positive conversation around vaping in...

#VApril: Ireland Bottom of the Class When it Comes to Vaping Policy

In direct contrast to their counterparts across the globe, the HSE and other public health campaigners in Ireland do not endorse vaping or provide any information on vaping products to Irish smokers who want to quit. Stop Smoking New Zealand, The American Cancer Society Public Health England, Cancer Research UK and many others have endorsed vaping as a viable alternative to smoking. Supported by information from their State, millions of smokers have embraced vaping as a viable alternative to smoking across the globe, but not here in Ireland. The Government has an ambitious plan for a Tobacco Free Ireland by 2025. The target is to have only 5% smoking prevalence in Ireland but there are currently 830,000 (18%) Irish smokers, despite efforts made by the Department of Health in this regard. Vaping has the potential to play its part in moving that remaining 13%. If the Department of Health doesn’t endorse vaping – as has been done by so many of their international counterparts – Tobacco Free Ireland will not be realised by 2025. VBI spokesperson Alan Buckley said “Irish smokers have been very misinformed on vaping in the past and this has a lot to do with the fact that no information is being made available to them by the State. The Department of Health Healthy Ireland Survey showed that 37% of Irish smokers who quit in 2017 did so through the use of vaping products, this is up from 32% in 2016. If you compare this to the 18% who used NRTs to do the same, the evidence that vaping works is clear. Ireland is so far...

Hospitals should start selling vaping products – new recommendation from Public Health England

Hospitals should start selling vaping products – new recommendation from Public Health England Vape Business Ireland (VBI) has welcomed a new review from Public Health England (PHE) published today which is recommending that health bodies and the NHS in the UK make vaping products available in hospital shops, alongside other nicotine replacement therapies. The review has determined that vaping products could be contributing to at least 20,000 successful cases of quitting smoking per year in the UK. According to Healthy Ireland, smoking rates have only declined by 1% in the last two years. VBI is stressing that the Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Ireland plan will never be reached unless vaping is endorsed by Health Authorities. VBI Director Michael Kenneally said “Yet again through evidence based research it has been found that vaping is an effective and better alternative to smoking. This research, along with many others published by organisations like Cancer Research UK, Royal College of Physicians and ASH UK, again highlights the lack of action by the HSE.  Quit.ie needs to provide information on vaping products to Irish smokers who want to take steps to quit smoking. VBI continue to call on the Department of Health and HSE to provide Irish adults looking for an alternative to smoking with factual and clear information on all nicotine replacement therapies.” For further information: Telephone: 01 234 2423 / 087 943 3517 E-mail: info@vapebusinessireland.ie   Notes to the Editor: The research shows that smokers who switch completely from smoking to vaping experience substantial health benefits. The review also found evidence that despite previous reports, vaping products do not encourage youth smokers and youth smoking rates are actually in decline.The review has found that the use...