World News – AU – asked the government about the « concern » of teens who smoke


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The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland on the Policy Group on Tobacco has expressed concern about the increase in e-cigarette use among teens.

The policy group was responding to the publication of recent evidence showing a marked rise in e-cigarette use among teenagers in Ireland, and calling for the government to speed up legislation related to e-cigarettes.

The group is pressing the government to « urgently evaluate » the current tobacco control strategy in Ireland to address this « worrying pattern » of both tobacco and e-cigarette smoking in teens.

The group confirmed that it remains legal for minors to purchase e-cigarettes in Ireland. She was calling on the government to urgently introduce the much awaited Public Health Act (tobacco and nicotine inhalation products). This bill prohibits the sale of nicotine inhalation products to minors and was necessary to protect children from the dangers of e-cigarettes and prevent them from starting to smoke tobacco cigarettes.

In addition to passing this law, the group called for more restrictions on electronic cigarettes. Strongly supported a ban on all flavors of electronic cigarettes and additional measures banning the advertising and marketing of electronic cigarettes similar to what is currently in place for manufactured tobacco cigarettes. .

The group called on Taoiseach Micheál Martin to show the same leadership he showed when he imposed a smoking ban in the workplace as Minister of Health, and to pass legislation to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and to impose stricter restrictions on the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes to protect children.

The RCPI Tobacco Policy Group « reads with great concern » the findings of the European Schools Project study on alcohol and other drugs published by the TobaccoFree Research Institute Ireland.

The study surveyed nearly 2,000 students between the ages of 15 and 16 across Ireland and found that there has been a 50 percent increase in e-cigarette use since the previous study in 2015.

Early indications from the last report were that the previous downward trend of tobacco use among children in Ireland had halted.

This « worrying trend » clearly showed that more children in Ireland were experimenting with e-cigarettes and that most of the children surveyed in the study who used e-cigarettes did not notice any harm in trying it, according to the RCPI Policy Group.

A recent review of e-cigarette use by the Health Research Board (HRB) concluded that teens who had previously smoked an e-cigarette were four times more likely to start smoking compared to those who had never used an e-cigarette, and that e-cigarettes were a harmful product..

The two research reports, from the Schools Project and HRB, had major implications for tobacco control policy in Ireland.

Members of the RCPI Policy Group on Tobacco include: Professor Des Cox (Chair), Dr Angie Brown, Dr Carmen Reagan, Dr Mark O’Kelly, Dr Mike Scully, Dr Paul Kavanagh, Dr Peter Nunn, Professor Ross Morgan, Dr Ann O’Sheaughnessy, Dr Siobhan Kelly, Dr Helen McEvoy, and Prof. Leo Stassen.

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