Proposed bill goes too far

 

A new bill the proposing regulations for electronic cigarettes was announced recently by Senators Averil Power and John Crown that will subject vaping products ”to the same regulation as tobacco products. No more, no less.”

From the press release on Senator Powers’ website, the suggested bill aims to include a number of measures :

– A ban on the sale of electronic-cigarettes to those under 18 years of age;

– A ban on the consumption of electronic-cigarettes in bars, restaurants and other places of work

-A ban on the advertising of electronic cigarettes,

– A ban on sponsorship by manufacturers and importers of electronic-cigarettes, and

– A ban on the consumption of electronic-cigarettes in vehicles where persons under 18 years of age are present.

– Standardised packaging of electronic-cigarettes and the fitting of child safety caps on liquid nicotine bottles.

From the outset, the Irish Vape Vendors Association welcomes regulation, and we strongly welcome age restrictions on sales and proper childproof packaging.

Good regulation for this emerging industry maintains standards, fosters competition and innovation, and safeguards both industry  growth and the safety of consumers. Good regulation will keep the product an affordable and viable alternative for adult smokers wishing to find an alternative to smoking combustible tobacco.

But we also have to make it very clear that we feel this bill is over reaching and some of the proposed measures may have a negative effect on the public health of Irish citizens.

It should not be the government’s aim to over ride a business owners’ own personal or commercial choice on allowing the use of electronic cigarettes on their private premises. There is no evidence arising from correctly-conducted research that ‘second hand’ vapour is of any danger to bystanders, and in broader terms, to treat a harm reduction tool to exactly the same regulations as tobacco cigarettes flies in the face of logic. This reduced harm product will be put at a disadvantage to the more harmful product it replaces.

The IVVA hopes that both industry and consumers will be consulted during the bill’s progress, as there must be leave given along the way for the truth surrounding the positive research on these products to be made public.

The press release issued by the IVVA regarding this new bill can be found below.


Trade association cautiously welcomes e-cigarette regulations announced by senators.

The Irish Vape Vendors Association have cautiously welcomed the announcement of a bill that will regulate e-cigarettes in Ireland, announced last Friday by Senators Averil Power and John Crown. The bill will cover a number areas such as a ban on sale to people under 18, childproof caps on e-liquid bottles and product advertising. They claim, however, to have concerns that the bill may be too far reaching.

”We will obviously have to wait for the final wording, but the bill actually covers issues like safety caps on liquids and underage sales that are already written into our code of conduct”, said Gillian Golden, the IVVA’s administrator. ”Electronic cigarettes have proved a viable alternative for thousands of Irish smokers who would otherwise still be smoking, and we welcome this initiative that will keep them safely out of the hands of minors”.

The regulations would also seek a ban on using electronic cigarettes in public places like bars and workplaces, bringing them in line with existing regulations on tobacco cigarettes.

”There is however, a danger that regulations can go too far,” said Golden, ”and we would urge that the raft of research data that finds no significant risk to bystanders be considered, before these regulations are finalised. The only research that Senator Power has even made mention to in her announcement last week, has been flawed studies done with little understanding of how these products work, studies that have been debunked by international experts as misleading to the public.”

Senator Power has also claimed that electronic cigarette vapour gives off ‘toxic chemicals’ and ‘toxins damaging to bystanders’. But the IVVA say this is a misleading presentation of the scientific research that has been done over the last number of years into these devices. They say claims of toxic emissions have to take into account that in toxicology terms, ‘the dose makes the poison’. They explain that when you compare the levels of toxins found in electronic cigarette vapour, in terms of parts per million, any toxins that ARE found are at such low levels both in comparison to tobacco cigarettes, and in comparison to occupational safety limits, they are negligible. In some cases, the toxins are actually similar to the levels found in nicotine inhalers.

Igor Burstyn, from the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, at Drexel University in Boston is one such scientist. When he conducted a systematic review of the vapour produced by electronic cigarettes, he found ”..that there is no evidence that vaping produces inhalable exposures to these contaminants at a level that would prompt measures to reduce exposure by the standards that are used to ensure safety of workplaces.”

This is an important discovery, which must have caught the attention of British MPs, who recently decided to allow people working at the houses of parliament in London to vape their electronic cigarettes in certain parts of the Palaces of Westminster, including the bar on the parliament campus. It begs the question, if the UK have come to the conclusion that using electronic cigarettes in public is safe enough for members of their government, why isn’t that science being looked at in the same light here?

”From the moment of the bill’s announcement, we’ve seen a lot of misinformation and scaremongering in the media.” Golden continues.  ”We would hate to see adult smokers turned off this fantastic harm reduction tool because of catchy soundbites that have little basis in science and that aren’t backed up by research. Let’s not forget that recently 137 medical professionals from areas like tobacco research, public health, cardiology, and toxicology have all agreed with the findings that e-cigarettes are between 95% and 99% safer than smoking combustible tobacco.”

The association also claims that a number of measures suggested in this bill are unnecessary, given that work on a central European quality standard for the manufacture of e-cigarette products has already begun. Other measures, they say, may prove harmful to consumers, such as the plan to restrict the products to plain packaging. ”If we subject a harm reduction product such as e-cigarettes to the the same rules as the more harmful product they’re replacing, it makes them less attractive to the adult smokers who are looking for an alternative to smoking tobacco.”

ENDS.

About the IVVA: The Irish Vape Vendors Association represents independently owned Irish retailers specialising in e-cigarette products, and aims to safeguard both the advancement of the industry and consumer peace of mind. For more information you can visit their website at www.ivva.ie