(See the original letter in the Irish Times here).
Dr Muiris Houston’s article ‘Irish anti-vaping sentiment needs to be stubbed out’ (11 February 2019) is a welcome perspective, further opening the debate on vaping in Ireland and the State’s ambition to become tobacco free.
The Irish Government has set itself a target of 5% smoking prevalence by 2025, but it is currently stuck at 17%. Furthermore, the HSE has confirmed in its report ‘The State of Tobacco Control in Ireland 2018’ that, assuming current trend continues, and all other factors remain constant, Ireland can only expect to be tobacco free by 2052 and not 2025 as originally planned. In comparison, the UK could expect to be smokefree by 2030 – 22 years ahead of Ireland. Vaping is part of the tobacco-free solution in the UK – and it should be here too.
Vaping should be seen as one of the suite of options advised by the HSE for those who find it hard to quit smoking. The mission of the Department of Health is to improve the health and wellbeing of people in Ireland. By not encouraging smokers to consider vaping, which is at least 95% less harmful than smoking, the Minister and the Department are failing in their duty of care to improve the health of 800,000 smokers.
Director of Vape Business Ireland