Monday 14 October 2019

Simon Harris says he will never meet makers of e-cigarettes

Minister for Health Simon Harris (Niall Carson/PA)
Minister for Health Simon Harris (Niall Carson/PA)
The long-term effects of vaping are unkown

Eilish O’Regan

HEALTH Minister Simon Harris has ruled out meeting vaping companies ahead of legislation to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to under-18s.

He accused companies which make the products of trying to hook young people into the habit.

“I’ll never meet them, I’ll never meet them so people can stop asking me to meet them,” he said today.

He criticised fellow members of the Oireachtas for “bringing them around in here and asking me to meet them.”

The long-term effects of vaping are unkown
The long-term effects of vaping are unkown

He noticed that in petrol shop stations the promotions for e-cigarettes have replaced the slots traditionally used for cigarettes before a ban.

He said he expects to get a report from the Health Research Board in March on e-cigarettes.

Although there is some evidence that they can help people to give up cigarettes he objected to marketing them at teenagers, he added.

A team at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona who looked at vaping said can damage the lungs in the same way as a poison gas attack.

They warned of a looming "public health crisis" after examination of tissue samples found vapers suffered "direct" injuries from noxious chemicals.

For the first time, scientists reviewed lung biopsies from a group of patients who had fallen ill after smoking e-cigarettes, two of whom had died.

The team had been expecting to find lung damage as a result of fatty deposits from the vaping liquids.

Instead, they found more serious "acute" injuries of the type commonly seen in victims of gas attacks.

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section