Vape companies are purposefully targeting teenagers to create a whole new generation of nicotine addicts, according to a Crumlin children’s hospital consultant.
Professor Des Cox was speaking as Cabinet approved a range of new restrictions on the sale and advertising of vapes.
The new measures will see e-cigarettes banned from vending machines, temporary or mobile premises and at children’s events.
Meanwhile, advertisements for vapes and e-cigs will be banned on public transport, in cinemas and near schools.
The Bill already includes a ban on the sale of vaping products to under-18s and is due to be finalised by the end of the year.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Paediatric Respiratory Medicine Consultant Professor Des Cox said companies are deliberately marketing vapes at teenagers.
“I don’t think anyone would support or allow teenagers to use these products,” he said. “They weren’t designed for teenage lungs.
“Initially, when they came on the market, they were proposed as a way to quit smoking but the way they are currently being marketed - the way they are advertised and the products that are actually on sale in respect of the flavours and the packaging - is telling us another story.
“They are using the old tobacco company tactics where they are promoting these products to teenagers and they are trying to get them addicted to nicotine so that they can create a whole new generation of nicotine users.”
He said the proposed legislation is good news – if a “long time coming”.
“Surveys that have been recently published show that one-in-five teenagers have tried vaping and slightly less than that are using it regularly,” he said.
“Then, in the UK, the ASH report that was published over the summer showed a seven-fold increase in the use of disposable vapes amongst teenagers and a lot of these are seeing these being advertised on social media.
“So, it is no longer anecdotal. We now have evidence.”