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Children's health

28th Mar 2024

Measures to protect children from tobacco and e-cigarettes to take effect in September

Jody Coffey


There is a six-month lead-in time for these measures

Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, has introduced additional measures to protect children from tobacco and e-cigarettes or vapes.

Minister Donnelly has implemented further sections of the Public Health (Tobacco Products and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Act 2023 to commence provisions which will take effect from September 23rd.

These measures include banning the sale of tobacco products or nicotine-inhaling products at events targeting children and prohibiting the advertisement of nicotine-inhaling products near cinemas showing children’s films, on public service vehicles, at stops or stations, and within 200 metres of schools.

Another provision came into effect on Thursday (March 28th) as test purchasing operations conducted by the National Environmental Health Service of the HSE on tobacco products and nicotine-inhaling products will be underpinned by law.

These operations involve a minor aged 15 years or over attempting to buy tobacco products in contravention of the ban on sales to minors.

While previously permitted by the High Court for tobacco products, they will now be included in legislation for both tobacco and nicotine-inhaling products.

Commenting on the measures, Minister Donnelly stated that they are integral to the Government’s overall strategy to reduce the exposure of children to smoking and vaping.

He expressed satisfaction that test operations will see young people helping to protect their peers from purchasing such products.

“As we mark 20 years since the introduction of the smoking ban in Ireland, my Department continues to introduce evidence-based policy measures that help to reduce the significant health burden that smoking places on our population,” Minister Donnelly said.

“Second-hand smoke causes cancers, heart disease, and strokes, and young people who vape are more likely to go on to smoke, so it is vital that we initiate measures to protect them from addictive products.

“We have made great strides in this area, but the work continues and I want to reaffirm my commitment to reaching our goal of a tobacco free Ireland.”