E-cigarettes may 'increase smokers' dependency'
Using e-cigarettes may increase smokers' dependence on nicotine, as new research shows that two in three users are also smoking tobacco.
The survey shows that the popularity of e-cigarettes is continuing to grow - with more than 210,000 users in Ireland.
The Irish Cancer Society (ICS) is calling for "medical or pharmaceutical advice to be given alongside the purchase of e-cigarettes", said Kathleen O'Meara, head of advocacy and communications for the Irish Cancer Society.
The survey - carried out by Coyne Research and commissioned by the ICS - also revealed that 5pc of smokers used e-cigarettes before they started smoking cigarettes.
The Government is drafting legislation to introduce a licensing system for e-cigarettes and other non-medicinal nicotine delivery systems, according to a Department of Health spokesperson.
The legislation will prohibit the sale of these products to, and by, persons under 18 year of age. "Work on the legislation is ongoing in the Department of Health and a general scheme is expected to be published this year," he said.
The new EU Tobacco Products Directive further regulates e-cigarettes and will be transposed into national legislation. The directive will:
- set mandatory safety and quality requirements on nicotine content, ingredients and devices, as well as refill mechanisms, etc, for e-cigarettes;
- make health warnings and information leaflets obligatory;
- introduce notification requirements for manufacturers and importers of e-cigarettes;
- impose stricter rules on advertising and monitoring of market developments.