Ireland considering banning vaping near schools and playgrounds
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Ireland considering banning vaping near schools and playgrounds

HEALTH MINISTER SIMON HARRIS is considering a ban on vaping products near schools and playgrounds.

It's amid fears they are being "cynically" marketed towards kids, and will get them addicted to nicotine.

Minister Harris, speaking at the launch of a new patient advocacy service on Wednesday said he wanted to crack down on advertisements of e-cigarettes and vaping products close to schools, creches and playgrounds.

"I had an excellent meeting with the Irish Cancer Society and the Irish Heart Foundation yesterday in relation to this. They, like I, are extremely concerned in relation to vaping products are being marketed as cessation tools.

"It is extremely cynical what is happening here … cartoon advertisements, strawberry flavours… these companies are targeting our kids.

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Minister for Health Simon Harris

"There is significant danger in relation to teenagers being targeted by vaping companies; people who have never smoked tobacco and are now starting a new cycle of addiction to nicotine.

"It is a very different thing if you are a man or a woman in your 40s or 50s and you have been smoking 20 a day for 20 years, and you’re now moving to vaping.”

A cardiological study published earlier in the week said that products like e-cigarettes damage the lungs, heart, brain and blood vessels.

The move also comes amid the nationwide ban on vaping in the US after a number of deaths were linked to the product.

Earlier this week, an advertising ban on alcohol products within 200m of schools, playgrounds and creches came into effect.

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Mr Harris said he has commissioned the Health Research Board to look at all of the literature in relation internationally regarding e-cigarettes and vaping.

"We have a lot of work to do in this area, it is an area that is evolving in terms of the international medical advice available," he said.