Press Release

Public consultation on legislation in relation to the sale of tobacco products and non-medicinal nicotine delivery systems, including e-cigarettes

The Department of Health announces public consultation on legislation in relation to the sale of tobacco products and non-medicinal nicotine delivery systems, including e-cigarettes

The Department of Health today, Tuesday 2nd December 2014, commenced a public consultation on legislative measures in relation to the sale of tobacco products and non-medicinal nicotine systems, including e-cigarettes.

The drafting of this legislation was approved by the Government in June 2014.  The measures are in line with recommendations contained in Tobacco Free Ireland, Ireland’s policy on tobacco control.

They include the introduction of a licensing system for tobacco products and non-medicinal nicotine delivery systems (including e-cigarettes), the prohibition of the sale of tobacco products from self-service vending machines and mobile units/containers. The legislation will also ban the sale of tobacco products by under 18 year olds and the sale of non-medicinal nicotine delivery systems, including e-cigarettes to, and by, under 18 year olds.

A consultation paper setting out the details of the measures is available at http://health.gov.ie/blog/noticeboard/tobaccoconsultation2014/.  The closing date for views is Friday, 16th January 2015.

Note for Editors

The Department’s policy in relation to smoking is to move towards a tobacco free society by 2025. In practice this will mean a smoking prevalence rate of less than 5%. The legislative measures are in line with Tobacco Free Ireland, available at http://health.gov.ie/blog/publications/tobacco-free-ireland/

The components of the legislation are as follows:

A

introduction of a licensing system for the sale of tobacco products.  The proposed licensing system will replace the retail register currently in operation for the sale of tobacco products; 

B

introduction of a licensing system for the sale of  NMNDS;

C

prohibition of the sale of tobacco products from self-service vending machines;

D

prohibition of the sale of tobacco products from temporary or mobile units/containers;

E

prohibition of the sale of tobacco products at events/locations primarily intended for persons under 18 years of age;

F

prohibition of the sale of tobacco products by persons under 18 years of age (the sale of tobacco products to persons under 18 years of age is already prohibited under the Public Health (Tobacco) Acts 2002-2013);

G

prohibition of the sale of NMNDS by persons under 18 years of age and to persons under 18 years of age; and

H

introduction of minimum suspension periods for retailers convicted of certain offences under the Public Health (Tobacco) Acts and this proposed new legislation.

In addition to the legislative measures outlined in A to H above, the Department is also seeking views on the:

(i)

introduction of fixed penalty notices (on the spot fines) for certain offences under tobacco control legislation; and

(ii)

publication of information in respect of any person on whom a fine, other penalty or conviction is imposed by a court or pursuant to fixed penalty notices (‘name and shame’).

Full details of the consultation are available at http://health.gov.ie/news-centre/notice-board/tobaccoconsultation2014. Views can be submitted using the online questionnaire.

Alternatively, a hard copy of the consultation paper and questionnaire are available by emailing tobaccoconsultation@health.gov.ie or writing to:

Tobacco & NMNDS Consultation

Tobacco and Alcohol Control Unit

Department of Health

Hawkins House

Hawkins Street

Dublin 2

The closing date for views is Friday, 16th January 2015.  The online survey will be open until midnight on that day.  Responses postmarked the closing date will be accepted.  Hand-delivered responses will be accepted up to close of business on that date.  Late or anonymous submissions will not be accepted.

A consultation report will be prepared and published on the Department’s website.

All submissions received by the Department are subject to the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and may be released in response to an FOI request. The Department publishes responses to FOI requests online.

ENDS