The current position on e-cigarettes in Ireland is based on advice from the Health Information and Quality Authority (‘HIQA’) in its 2017 Health Technology Assessment of Smoking Cessation Products and Services.
In relation to the safety of e-cigarettes the HIQA assessment concluded that this remains an evolving area of research; while potentially safer than smoking, evidence on long-term safety has yet to be established. In relation to e-cigarettes as an aid to smoking cessation HIQA advised as follows:
“Although the currently available results for e-cigarettes are promising, there is insufficient evidence at present to reliably demonstrate their effectiveness as an aid to smoking cessation.”
Although the HIQA assessment was published only in 2017, the evidence on e-cigarettes is rapidly evolving. In that context I have asked the Health Research Board to undertake a review which will examine the evidence in relation to the health harms of e-cigarettes, their effectiveness as an aid to smoking cessation and whether there is evidence that they act as a gateway to smoking tobacco cigarettes. The evidence review is expected to be completed in April 2020.