Legislation should ban vaping before people discover the extent of harm it causes.
That’s according to ASH Ireland Chair Dr. Emmet O'Brien, who said there is much more to vaping to be uncovered.
“People haven't aged yet, so we haven't had the time to see [the effects],” he told The Anton Savage Show.
“If you have a large proportion of young people vaping, we won't see the ill effects of that for 20 to 30 years.”
“We don't know what the harms are for vaping for 30 to 40 years - I would worry that people will regret taking them.
“We have an opportunity now to do this. We have an opportunity to bring legislation forward to tackle this.”
The Government approved legislation to officially ban vapes for those under-18 and to tighten advertising around e-cigarettes.
People are now calling for the Government to follow the example of Australia and ban vapes completely.
Dr O’Brien said he knows vape has become a cigarette-alternative for many, but they are still harmful.
“They’re still addictive,” he said. “If you look at the trials, half of people who went on vaping solutions for nicotine replacement, they ended up still vaping at the end of the year”.
“Nearly all of the people who were on nicotine replacement therapies such as patches were off them.
“You're swapping one addiction for another in some respects.”
Dr O’Brien said it is particularly problematic that many who vape were not previously smokers in the first place.
“They are heavily marketed towards children,” he said. “It's the children that are starting to vape.”
He suggested a ban on all disposable vapes, making it harder for children to access them and less desirable.
“If you look at the reasons that children take up vaping, it's related to their desire to for the flavors,” he said.
“Those flavours are heavily marketed towards children – they're in colorful packages, they're on social media.
“If we could if we could prevent the initiation of vaping, we're going to prevent a lot of harm down the road.”
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