A bill aimed at regulating the sale, marketing and use of e-cigarettes was launched in the Irish parliament today.
According to the Irish Times:
Under the Bill, the advertising of and consumption of e-cigarettes in public places and workplaces would be prohibited.
The sale of such products to under-18s would be prohibited, as would their consumption in vehicles when children are present.
The Bill would also provide for standardised packaging of e-cigarettes [my emphasis].
It won't surprise you to learn that one of the senators behind it is our old friend Professor John Crown.
I have written about Crown several times, as indeed has Chris Snowdon ("One of the most infantile displays I have seen since puberty").
Not everything Crown does turns to tobacco control gold. In 2012 his motion to prohibit smoking in the grounds of the Irish parliament failed (see The Senator Crown affair).
Perhaps this initiative will fail as well but don't expect a rational debate. See Tantrums and tobacco: the ugly face of public health.
Anyway, here's our response to the launch of the bill: Government must resist temptation to over-regulate electronic cigarettes, says Forest.
So far today our spokesman in Ireland, John Mallon, has appeared on TV3 and Today FM.
The Irish Times quoted John here: E-cigarette regulation proposed in new Bill.
UTV Ireland reported: E-cigarette bill proposed amid some opposition.
I like the reference to "some opposition". Sadly, apart from Forest I haven't heard anyone else speaking out.
If fighting the smoking ban taught us anything it's this: ignore what happens in Ireland at your peril.
Once legislation has been passed in Dublin there's every chance it will be introduced over here.
Btw, just in case you missed it, the Irish Times did indeed report:
The Bill would also provide for standardised packaging of e-cigarettes.
Vapers might like to mull over that threat and support our campaign against plain packaging of tobacco products.
Sticking your head in the sand is no longer an option.
PS. Speak to any advocate of e-cigs within the tobacco control community and you will be hard pressed to find one who doesn't support plain packaging of tobacco.