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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 710 - Smoking ban [12020/15].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 710 - Smoking ban [12020/15]. (24 Mar 2015)


710. Deputy Eric Byrneasked the Minister for Health if e-cigarettes come within the ambit of the smoking ban; if the use of these is illegal in public premises such as bars and restaurants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12020/15]

 

Minister for Health (Deputy Leo Varadkar): The current position in Ireland is that as e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco they are not regulated under the Public Health (Tobacco) Acts 2002-2015. This means that they are not subject to the workplace smoking ban.

However, while there is no legislation at present banning the use of e-cigarettes in the workplace, it is open to a company/agency to introduce workplace policy which does not permit their use, if they so wish. The Health Service Executive, for example, prohibited the use of e-cigarettes in all of its facilities and campuses from 1 May 2014 under its Tobacco Free Campus policy. Iarnród Éireann also introduced a ban on the use of e-cigarettes in the workplace in 2014.

The Government recognises that while e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, they do contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance. In order to ensure that e-cigarettes and other non-medicinal nicotine delivery systems are sold in a responsible manner in this country, Government has approved the drafting of legislation to introduce a licensing system for these products. The legislation will also prohibit the sale of these products to, and by, persons under 18 year of age. Work on the legislation is ongoing in my Department and it is expected that the General Scheme of a Bill will be published this year. This legislation comes ahead of the transposition of the EU Tobacco Products Directive which will further regulate some aspects of e-cigarettes across EU Member States.

My Department will continue to monitor existing and emerging evidence on the potential harms and the potential benefits of these products, so as to inform decisions around any future additional regulation in this area.

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