In the last year more than 50,000 smokers have made the switch to electronic cigarettes in Ireland. Even though electronic cigarettes are rumored to be a healthier alternative to conventional cigarettes, regulators and advertisers are still trying to figure out how to handle the dramatic expansion of this new product. Electronic cigarettes are battery-operated cartridges that he dubbed a liquid that may or may not contain nicotine (pending the users’ choice) and to contain no tar and no known carcinogens unlike normal traditional cigarettes.
Electronic Cigarettes Under Review
The Department of Health announced plans to regulate electronic cigarettes, including prohibiting sales of electronic cigarettes to anyone under 18 years of age. A Department of Health spokesperson said “Health Minister James Reilly is currently reviewing the evidence on the potential harm and the potential benefits of E cigarettes before deciding the best approach to their wider regulation.” Meanwhile electronic cigarette sales are booming and electronic cigarette companies such as Rossport Pharmaceutical have recently created 138 jobs at a new factory, there still are concerns that need to be answered.
Production director Tony Geraghty estimated that over 50,000 people in the Republic had already made the switch to electronic cigarettes however he also said that this number is increasing rapidly. “There has been a huge increase in people using them,” he said. The Irish Cancer Society remains neutral because they cannot recommend electronic cigarettes to consumers until they are regulated properly. The ICS Health promotion manager Kevin O’Hagan said “We’re getting many queries about them but until we know exactly what's in the products, and what the long-term effects are, we cannot recommend them”.
The Department of Health has been contacted by the advertising standards Authority of Ireland in regards to how electronic cigarettes may be marketed, because of all of the questions from advertisers.