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Press Statements

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

#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... read more

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... read more

Vape Business Ireland Welcomes Results of New Study Showing No Adverse Health Impact from Vaping

  Vape Business Ireland (VBI) has welcomed the results of a new peer-reviewed clinical trial to be published in the February edition of Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology. The 24-month clinical trial has shown that the health of people who used e-cigarettes on a regular basis was not impacted negatively. The Dutch study, named “Evaluation of the Safety Profile of an Electronic Vapour Product Used for Two Years by Smokers in a Real-life Setting” found that of the 209 individuals that took part, no serious health concerns were reported. The study also showed that nicotine withdrawal symptoms were reduced with the continued use of vaping products. Michael Kenneally, director of Vape Business Ireland said “The results of the study are very positive and they reaffirm VBI’s position that the HSE needs to start looking at vaping as a viable tool for smoking cessation. International studies increasingly prove that the regulation of vaping products must be looked at separately to tobacco regulation. 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 alternatives to smoking, specifically on Quit.ie”.    For more information: Telephone: 01 234 2423 / 087 943 3517 E-mail: info@vapebusinessireland.ie... read more

Irish consumers continue to embrace vaping as a means to moving away from smoking

Minister Catherine Byrne launched the third annual Healthy Ireland survey of almost 7,500 people over the age of 15 and living in Ireland   The survey gives an up-to-date picture of the health of the nation and reports on many lifestyle behaviours such as smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, diet and mental health. Vape Business Ireland, Ireland’s largest vaping trade association, welcome the findings which show an increase in those using vaping as a method to successfully quit smoking.  In 2016, 32% of Irish people successfully used vaping products to quit smoking, increasing to 37% in this year’s survey.  Director of VBI Michael Kenneally commented, “Year on year the Department of Health’s survey shows an increase in the use of vaping amongst those looking for an alternative to smoking.  It is evident that these products, which are 95% less harmful than smoking, can be as effective as other tobacco-free alternatives on the market.” The survey also finds that the proportion of the population that smoke has decreased from 23% in 2016 to 22% in 2017 and there is an increase in users of vaping products from 3% in 2016 to 4% in 2017.  Michael continued “For the third year in a row, the survey finds that 99% of users of vaping products are ex-smokers which banishes the myth that these consumer electronic products are a gateway to smoking.  Consumers have the right to be informed of all their options. Therefore we are again calling on the Department of Health and HSE to provide adults looking for an alternative to smoking with factual and clear information on all alternatives to... read more

Vape Business Ireland call on HSE to follow footsteps of England’s Stoptober campaign and provide information on vaping on Quit.ie

  Vaping will be included in the upcoming Stoptober campaign in England for the first time, after e-cigarettes proved to be the most popular option for smokers looking for an alternative to tobacco during tool in last year’s campaign.  In light of this important decision, Vape Business Ireland (VBI) is again encouraging the HSE to provide Irish consumers with factual information on vaping on their Quit.ie website. Currently Quit.ie does not provide any information on vaping products such as how to use them, descriptions of the different products and links to research.   VBI spokesperson Michael Kenneally said: “We are not looking for a commercial endorsement here. The fact is that there are around 150,000 people using vaping products in Ireland and 99% of them are ex-smokers. There needs to be information about vaping made available for more people who want an alternative to smoking.”   A report into smoking cessation released by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) earlier this year 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. Considering these statistics, VBI is encouraging the HSE to follow in the UK’s footsteps and ensure that all Irish smokers have information made available to them on all viable alternatives to smoking, including... read more

VBI welcome Tax Strategy Group paper which does not recommend excise on vaping products

Vape Business Ireland (VBI) welcome the recommendation by the Tax Strategy Group (TSG) in their ‘General Excise Paper – Tobacco Products Tax, Alcohol Products Tax and  Betting Duty’ not to impose excise on vaping products at this time.  The TSG recognise that ‘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]’. Its confirmation that these products are adequately taxed as a consumer good should prompt other Government departments to open up and discuss vaping as a growing and innovative sector. VBI Director Michael Kenneally commented: “Today’s decision is an important step in Government understanding of vaping and why it has a major role to play in becoming an alternative to smoking. Vaping products are consumer goods where VAT has already been paid.  They do not contain tobacco, and the Department of Health found that 99% of users are current or former tobacco smokers that have used vaping to quit smoking, while this year’s HIQA report on cessation shows that an impressive 29% of adults trying to stop smoking are using vaping as a means to do so. It is important we support those looking for an alternative to smoking and are happy that the TSG recognise taxing such products ‘could in turn undermine the broader public health objective of reducing tobacco consumption.’” Mr Kenneally also hopes that today’s decision is a watershed in the Government’s approach to vaping: “This is a progressive step, just weeks after the British Department of Health published an innovative report on creating a smoke-free generation, including vaping... read more