Incremental ban on smoking needed to stop future generations becoming addicted

Fianna Fáil MEP, Billy Kelleher has said that the Irish Government should completely ban the sale of vapes and move towards an incremental ban on all forms of tobacco smoking

Kelleher, a former Fianna Fáil National Health Spokesperson, was commenting on the 20th anniversary of the ban on work-place smoking by the then Health Minister, Micheál Martin.

“I am aware of, and welcome, the Minister for Health’s commitment to ban the sale of disposable vapes to under 18s. However, I think we, as a society, should be looking to go further.

“Vaping is now becoming very popular among younger people, even among young people who never previously smoked. We know that e-cigarettes contain heavy metals, which are toxic to humans, such as nickel, tin, and lead. They also contain flavourings such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease. No good comes from vaping.

“Furthermore, we need to move to a point where we incrementally ban smoking for future generations. Other countries have started this process. For example, no one born after 2009 will be allowed to smoke in the UK.

“I appreciate that this may appear to be a nanny-state type of ban but the impact of smoking both on individuals and on wider society are really clear – smoking kills and it costs taxpayers hundreds of millions of euro each and every year in terms of additional healthcare costs.

“The role of government is very clear to me. We must make the world safer for our citizens. We should at all times reduce risks to their health and wellbeing.

“As a former smoker myself, I know how hard it is to give up cigarettes, but I also know how liberating it can be once you break the habit. We owe it to future generations to never let them become hooked in the first place,” concluded Kelleher.