Ireland’s largest vaping trade association, Vape Business Ireland (VBI) has reiterated its call for vaping products to be recognised by the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly and the HSE Quit Team as a less harmful alternative to smoking. The association is making the call to mark Ireland’s National No Smoking Day, Ash Wednesday, which is traditionally a day when smokers attempt to quit.
According to the European Commission’s Eurobarometer on ‘attitudes of Europeans towards tobacco and electronic cigarettes’ published earlier this month, 21 per cent of Irish people used vaping products or similar devices to quit or attempt to quit smoking. These latest findings support VBI’s view that vaping has a significant role to play in achieving the State’s objective of a Tobacco Free Ireland by 2025.
Commenting, VBI spokesperson, James Doran said: “HSE research shows that seven out of ten Irish people who currently smoke would like to quit. National No Smoking Day is a fantastic opportunity to remind those adult smokers of all options available to them when considering how to move away from cigarettes. To date, Ireland has lagged other jurisdictions such as New Zealand and the UK, in recognising that vaping is a less harmful alternative to smoking and that it can be as effective as nicotine replacement therapy, as confirmed by the major Cochrane Review in December.
“Ireland has made huge strides in reducing smoking rates over recent years, with the numbers who currently smoke at 18 per cent considerably lower than the EU average of 23 per cent. If this positive trend is to continue it is vitally important that adult smokers are provided with a full overview of the safer alternatives available to them. For example, in the UK organisations such as Public Health England, ASH UK and Cancer Research UK have provided exceptionally strong guidance to the public about the role that vaping can play in helping to reduce smoking prevalence dramatically. The HSE Quit Team must consider how this has resulted in smoking levels falling dramatically faster in the UK than in Ireland.”