Northern Ireland to ban the sale and supply of disposable vapes
Vapes

Northern Ireland Environment Minister Andrew Muir MLA has today announced his intention to prohibit the sale and supply of single use vapes by April 2025, bringing Northern Ireland in parallel with the rest of the UK.

The move recognises the strong support from the Northern Ireland public for a ban on single use vapes in response to the UK wide consultation on ‘Creating a Smokefree Generation and Tackling Youth Vaping’.

90.4% of individual respondents from Northern Ireland agreed there should be restrictions on the sale and supply of single use vapes and 84.9% agreed that restrictions should take the form of a ban on their sale and supply.

IPH was one of many respondents to make a submission to the UK wide public consultation, which asked questions in the following three areas for which new legislation would be needed: creating a smokefree generation, tackling youth vaping, and enforcement.

In IPH's consultation response we highlighted the environmental impact of single use or disposable vapes or e-cigarettes. We also focussed on Northern Ireland and in the context of all-island tobacco endgame ambitions.

In today's announcement, Minister Muir said the environmental damage created by the alarming rise in the littering and incorrect disposal of used vapes is a key concern. It is estimated, he said, that as many as five million single use vapes are disposed of in residual bins or littered every week across the UK, rather than being recycled. 

Minister Muir welcomed the collaborative engagement between Government officials across the UK to address the issue and that an alignment of approaches will deliver shared health and environmental benefits.

A single use vapes working group has been formed between Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. Under current plans, each nation will progress its own legislation and have agreed to work towards a joint coming into force date of 1 April 2025.

Meanwhile the NI Committee for Health has published a report following the Committee's consideration of the Legislative Consent Memorandum for the Tobacco and Vapes Bill.

On April 11, members of IPH's policy team, IPH Director of Policy Dr Helen McAvoy, Dr Joanna Purdy and Dr Ciara Reynolds, gave evidence to the Health Committee on the Bill - see IPH briefing here

Other memoranda and papers submitted by IPH include the following:

Further evidence and submissions to the Health Committee are available here

 

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