Vape Business Ireland (VBI) does not support a ban on flavours as flavours play an important role for adult smokers looking for a less harmful alternative product. The intention of flavours is to give consumers product choice, and it is not intended for use by those under 18. There is no evidence to support the assertion that vaping is “normalising smoking” or that it is a gateway to smoking. 99% of those who vape in Ireland are adult ex-smokers according to the 2019 Healthy Ireland Survey, released by the Department of Health in November.
Over a period of four years, Vape Business Ireland (VBI) has directly called on the Minister for Health and the Department of Health to bring forward legislation to prohibit sale by, and to, those under the age of 18.
VBI spokesperson Joe Dunne said, “There is no reason why the Minister continues the delay in dealing with this issue. Vape Business Ireland (VBI) has long campaigned for the legislation what would prohibit the sale by, and to, those under the age of 18. Due to the inaction by the Minister and in the absence of legislative measures to prevent the sale of vaping products to under 18s, VBI developed a Code of Conduct on this matter, which has been signed by all members, to ensure that if in doubt of a customer’s age the retailer/seller is encouraged to ask for identification. The Code of Conduct covers in-store sales, online sales, as well as the marketing of vaping products.”
It is the view of VBI that vaping products are a product of choice for adults and should never be sold to those under 18. Therefore, marketing and advertising of vaping products should be socially responsible and directly only at adults.
There is no evidence in Ireland to suggest that vaping products are leading to young people smoking. The 2019 Healthy Ireland Survey clearly demonstrates this, as it shows that 99% of people who use vaping products are adult former smokers. These figures from the Department of Health are in direct conflict with some of the figures quoted by the Irish Heart Foundation and the Irish Cancer Society in their press release.
In relation to flavours and ingredients, the Minister for Health is well aware that all products must be notified to the HSE by manufacturers or importers, with detailed information including the listing of all ingredients, thereby acting as a barrier to any products that do not adhere to EU standards entering the Irish market.
Martin Dockrell, from Public Health England, the state agency under the auspices of the Department of Health and Social Care has said, “banning flavours would likely provoke vapers to relapse back to smoking, leading to more adult smoking role models for young people, which we know is the key driver in young people starting to smoke.”
Responding to the press conference, VBI spokesperson Joe Dunne said, “in his press conference today, Minister Simon Harris seems to be suggesting that adult smokers shouldn’t be allowed to choose the flavours they want, based on the sample size of 16 teenagers. Is this how policy is developed now in Ireland?”
Vape Business Ireland spokesperson
Joe Dunne, 086 6004689