Home > Dáil Éireann debate. Questions on policy or legislation [Vaping & Nitrous oxide].

[Oireachtas] Dáil Éireann debate. Questions on policy or legislation [Vaping & Nitrous oxide]. (06 Mar 2024)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/2...

...Deputy Paul Donnelly: I would like to raise the deep concern I and many others have on the success of the vaping ban in relation to children. I see evidence every single day of children in school uniforms vaping. We are not seeing any sanctions on those clearly breaking the law. The environmental health service stated that there has been one prosecution to date. 

The issue of the abuse of fast gas is a huge problem. Just today it was mentioned on the news that Crumlin children's hospital is seeing children with severe burns and lifelong scarring. I received an email from a constituent this morning which mentioned this product fast gas which is being sold and being abused by children and young people. This is not a product for the catering industry. It looks like it is being marketed to children in exactly the same way vapes are. The vapes have different flavours, different tastes and different packaging. While I welcome the new legislation, it is just ink on paper unless it is properly resourced. How does the Minister plan to take this far more seriously than it has been to date? 

Hildegarde Naughton, Minister of State at the Department of Health: I thank the Deputy for his important question. As he knows, the ban on the sale of vapes to under-18s has just come into force. We are working on new legislation on packaging which has gone out to public consultation. We are all very aware of how young people are being targeted. Regarding the enforcement question which the Deputy asked, it has been implemented and enforcement is happening and we will be keeping it monitored. 

Regarding nitrous oxide, for the first time I have allocated €1.5 million for education and evidence-based prevention measures. They will raise awareness around drugs and alcohol addiction. This part of the response in relation to nitrous oxide. I completely support An Garda Síochána in relation to this. This is about education and prevention as well. Parents, youth workers, communities and schools all have a part to play in the programmes I am funding as Minister of State with responsibility for the national drugs strategy.

Repository Staff Only: item control page