Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Questions (674)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

674. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the extent to which his Department has examined the vaping industry with a view to ensuring the highest possible health standards and the application of regulations deemed necessary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7971/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Electronic cigarettes are currently regulated in Ireland by the European Union (Manufacture, Presentation and Sale of Tobacco and Related Products) Regulations 2016 which transposed the EU Tobacco Products Directive. Under the Regulations, health warnings which advise consumers that electronic cigarettes contain nicotine are mandatory on packaging. Electronic cigarettes and refill containers must also be child and tamper-proof. The Regulations provide for mandatory safety and quality requirements for electronic cigarettes and refill containers, including maximum nicotine concentrations for electronic cigarettes containing nicotine, and maximum volumes for cartridges, tanks and nicotine liquid containers. The Regulations also require e-cigarette manufacturers or importers to notify the HSE of all products that they place on the market and of the ingredients contained in the product. If a manufacturer, importer or distributor has a reason to believe that a product is not safe, they are required to immediately notify the HSE and to explain what corrective action has been taken.

Further regulation of electronic cigarettes is planned for under the Public Health (Tobacco and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill. The Bill will introduce a mandatory licence for the retail sale of nicotine inhaling products and prohibit the sale of vaping products to, and by, persons under 18 years of age. The General Scheme of the Bill has been submitted for pre-legislative scrutiny to the Oireachtas Committee on Health and to the Office of the Attorney General for drafting of the Bill.