Vaping was wrapped up together with smoking legislation at the turn of the year when Fianna Fail's Averil Power and independent Senator John Crowne proposed a law to ban sales to under-18s. The legislation didn’t stop there, wide-reaching plans were set in place to restrict where people could vape too. Along with a ban on vaping in public places the pair sought to make it illegal to use an ecig in any vehicle containing a person under the age of 18.
Power justified these measures as “the World Health Organisation has raised concerns,” as if this makes up for research and fair consideration of the evidence. Forest Eireann, a lobby group like the UK’s own Forest, warnings against over-regulation went unheeded.
The Journal, an Irish news site, carried an editorial damning the move as a “bizarre attack with no basis in fact” and being nothing more than “knee-jerk moral outrage.” Citing The Economist, it recounted how smokers are 60% more likely to quit through the use of an ecig.
The editorial’s writer was quite incensed: “Someone considering banning e-cigarettes from public places will, I hope, support my forthcoming campaign to ban noxious fast food from being consumed in public. Kebabs and curry chips, I’m looking at you. Oh, and Red Bull and associated energy drinks. And people wearing too much perfume. Not to mention those of you who are sweaty on the way home after a wet November trudge to the train station. Take a bike. If e-cigarettes are to be banned because folks don’t like the look of them, there’s a long list of otherwise harmless substances we could talk about.”
He continues with fervour and reason: “The argument of the anti-smoking lobby, that e-cigarettes should be regulated and attacked the same was as regular cigarettes, is baloney. It smacks of a lobby that has for years had its way on smoking policy, and now that they’ve successfully driven down the rate of smoking in the country they desire something new to lash out at. E-cigarettes look just about enough like regular ones for a knee-jerk moral outrage to work where it wouldn’t with something innocuous like a nicotine patch.”
And now vaping vendors are facing the restriction of promoting their products on Irish social media, television and radio from September. The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland’s Orla Twomey said vendors must “not imply they are safe, or safer, than tobacco, and they should make sure they are not portrayed as being attractive to children.”
Nonsensical just doesn’t begin to cover it! Smokers face being condemned to their habit and failing NRT products while vapers are almost being encouraged to return to burning the weed.