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Time for Irish Govt to take a hard line against ‘Big Vape’ – MEP Andrews

No excuse for lagging behind as NI, England, Scotland, Wales announce vape ban

Fianna Fáil MEP Barry Andrews has said it’s time for Ireland and the EU to take a strong stance against ‘Big Vape’ and introduce an outright ban on the sale and supply of disposable vapes.

It comes as Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales confirm a joint agreement to outlaw disposable vapes by the 1st of April next year.

“The time for tinkering around the edges of a ban has long-since passed. By failing to introduce an outright ban on these harmful products, we are walking younger generations into an environmental and health crisis that is entirely avoidable,” the Dublin MEP said.

“We need to stand up to the predatory practices of vape companies who are targeting young people with colourful, flavourful, cheap and disposable e-cigarettes. Big Vape’s claims that they only target smokers who want to quit are, quite frankly, ludicrous. If that was the case, why would they bother disguising their tobacco products as fun, harmless, tasty, and vibrant?

“As well as banning disposable vapes, I am calling for plain packaging for vapes, a ban on flavours and to move the sale of vapes behind the counter.

“I have raised this issue at European Parliament level. As a member of the MEPs Against Cancer group, I have pushed for an EU-wide ban on disposable vapes. While I welcome moves the Irish government has made to limit the use of vapes, I think we can go further. Ireland showed courage and leadership in introducing the Smoking Ban 20 years ago - a move has saved an estimated 1,500 lives in Ireland every single year since its introduction. It’s time now for a similar hardline stance.

“Disposable vapes contain lithium batteries which are highly toxic and harmful to the environment. When disposed of improperly, they leach toxic chemicals into the soil and water, posing a significant threat to our ecosystems. Most disposable vapes contain metals which can take years to decompose. They also contain plastic which never fully decomposes. It turns into ‘microplastics, or tiny pieces of plastic, which continue to pollute the environment and pollute our food and drinking water.

"In March of this year, I wrote to the Minister for Health and the Minister for the Environment calling for an outright vape ban. It is time to stand up to Big Vape.”

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