E-cigarettes have seen a rapid growth in the last number of years in Ireland, most recently among younger people. In the US there has been a regulatory backlash amid concerns about youth vaping - but will Europe follow suit?
E-CIGARETTES are being touted by their makers and some global public health figures as tools to help adult smokers kick the habit. But as vaping increases among young people, there are serious concerns that the devices will create a new generation of nicotine addicts.
A draft scheme of legislation to provide for measures in relation to tobacco products and nicotine-inhaling products such as e-cigarettes is currently being developed. In addition to the introduction of a new licensing system for the retail sale of tobacco products and nicotine-inhaling products the legislation will prohibit the sale of nicotine-inhaling products by and to persons under 18 years. It is intended that a Memorandum for Government seeking approval to publish the General Scheme of the Bill and to proceed to formal drafting will be submitted in the coming months.
E-cigarettes are widely considered safer than traditional cigarettes, but they are too new for researchers to understand the long-term health effects, making today's youth what public health experts call a "guinea pig generation."
In the US, it's reported that one in five high school students use e-cigarettes. Schools say the problem sneaked up on then at the start of the new term last September when students arrived back to school taking their easily concealed devices with them.
The figures stateside are eye-watering - almost five million American teens used an e-cigarette last year. US Surgeon General Jerome Adams has declared e-cigarettes an epidemic among youth, stressing that e-cigarette aerosols containing nicotine increase the risk of addiction to nicotine and other drugs, and impact brain development which can induce mood disorders and lower impulse control.
Source: Kathy Donaghy, Irish Independent, 15th July 2019