E-cigarettes banned in health service facilities
THE Health Service Executive will ban the use of electronic cigarettes in all health service facilities from next month.
The decision was made after a safety review and a look at the impact of e-cigarettes on its smoke-free campus policy.
Although e-cigarettes emit chemical-free steam, they have raised the issue of a lack of regulation for the new product, designed to help people quit smoking.
The battery-powered devices resemble cigarettes and deliver nicotine through inhaled vapour.
The sale and use of e-cigarette at HSE facilities, including hospitals, will be banned from May 1.
The use of E-cigarettes is currently unregulated in Ireland and is not covered by the workplace ban on smoking.
The HSE said it can only recommend "safe and effective products" and methods for quitting smoking.
The organisation raised suggestions that there is no conclusive evidence that e-cigarettes are safe for long-term use.
It raised fears that the product, which resembles an ordinary cigarette, will promote or re-normalise smoking, pollute the environment for non-smokers and make it harder for smokers to quit.