Disposable Vapes Ban


Disposable Vapes Ban "Blunt Instrument" Says Addiction Medicine Doctor

Tom Douglas
Tom Douglas

02:38 21 Sep 2023

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The Government's plans to ban disposable vapes look set to include crackdowns on flavours and advertising.

Politicians have raised two issues about the devices, the environmental impact and the fact children are using them.

In June, the Department of the Environment opened a public consultation, to which almost 85% of people said they supported a ban.

But Dr. Garrett McGovern, a Dublin-based GP specialising in addiction medicine, says an outright ban is a "blunt instrument":

"Banning vapes is just, at this point, a step too far."

Dr. McGovern says the environmental concern can be eased with disposal bins, "to recycle the plastic - and it's do-able."

He's also called for fines for people who do not follow Ireland's litter laws.

When asked if they're better than cigarettes, Dr. McGovern said "immeasurably."

"It's not without harms, but it's not in the ballpark of combustible tobacco."

He continued, "there's no comparison."

Black Market

Dr. McGovern, who is also the Medical Director of the Priority Medical Clinic in Dundrum, says the "un-intended consequence" will be black market interest.

"These things are popular, they will find a way onto the black market."

He says if they do, it will just reduce access to smokers.

Age Restriction

Back in May, Cabinet approved Minister Stephen Donnelly's plans for an age restriction on e-cigarettes.

That was as well as banning adverts on public transport and near schools.

However, it hasn't been introduced yet. But it will be soon, apparently.

Dr. McGovern says it's needed, "and we need appropriate fines for any vendor who is caught selling to someone who is under the age of 18."

However, he re-iterated "it is a step too far" to ban them outright, "because there will be un-intended consequences."

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