Submission: Response to public consultation on Disposable Vaping Devices in Ireland
Disposable vapes

The Institute of Public Health recently responded to a public consultation on Disposable Vaping Devices launched by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications in Ireland. 

This consultation proposed a series of policy options to address the environmental impacts of disposable vaping devices, including:

  • ban on the manufacture, sale, distribution or free offer of disposable vaping devices under the Waste Management Act, 1996, Section 28(4)(i)
  • establish a deposit and return system for disposable vaping devices
  • make no legislative change but improve the producer responsibility scheme to ensure all producers placing devices on the market are registered; ensure enforcement of EPR requirements is adequate; improve education and awareness around returning devices into the WEEE and battery collection schemes for responsible recycling

The Institute responded to this consultation in support of a total ban of the sale of disposable vaping devices, from both an environmental and a health perspective. 

This position was based on:

  • Evidence of environmental harms associated with disposable vapes including littering and leaching of toxic compounds into the environment, disposable vapes as a source of single-use plastics contributing to marine and land pollution, greenhouse gas emissions associated with production and explosion/fire risk;
  • Evidence of poor compliance with existing regulations, with some disposable vaping devices exceeding permitted levels of nicotine content; 
  • E-cigarettes are not recognised as the most effective way of supporting people to stop smoking in Ireland and they have a largely untested safety profile, compared to the HSE approved package of care offered through QUIT.ie comprising medication and behavioural support
  • Evidence demonstrating an association between e-cigarettes and initiation of cigarette smoking amongst non-smokers, nicotine addiction and certain health harms.

 

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