THE Restaurant Association of Ireland (RAI) has called on the government for an outright ban on e-cigarettes.
Representing 1,300 restaurants around Ireland the 44-year-old body will submit its petition to the Department of Health next week to bring in legislation to ban the smoking of e-cigarettes as soon as possible.
"The national consensus in the hospitality sector is for an outright ban. We have to lead to the front. We put our neck on the line 10 years ago and we will do the same now, as an organisation we've never stood back," stated CEO of RAI, Adrian Cummins.
"There was an increase and prevalence of restaurants asking the association what they should do regarding the banning of e-cigarettes in their premises as legally they're not obliged to have an outright ban," he continued.
"We are calling on the Department of Health to bring in an outright ban on e-cigarettes and we ask them to bring in the legislation as soon as possible," stated Mr Cummins.
The decision to call for an outright ban came after restaurants reported issues and confrontations caused by the smoking of e-cigarettes either between staff and customers or between smoking and non-smoking customers.
There were incidences where people refused to refrain from smoking their e-cigarette in the restaurant.
The development follows the news that the HSE is to ban the use of electronic cigarettes in all of its facilities from the beginning of May.
However, the Vintners Federation of Ireland is not following the same road as the RAI and advises its members "to have a clear policy (on e-cigarettes) and implement it on an even handed basis."
MEANWHILE VIP ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES AFFIRMED THEY WERE A RELIABLE BRAND, AFTER THE HSE NEWS BROKE.
"VIP are a trusted and safe brand, our products are tested for quality, ingredients and safety twice yearly," stated its managing director Joe Dunne.
Mr Cummins in RAI said that they had expected legislation to ban electronic cigarettes to come in last January and when it did not the restaurants began mobilising on the issue.