• May 23, 2024

Ireland to Raise Smoking Age

 Ireland to Raise Smoking Age
Photo: RealPhotoItaly

Ireland will raise the minimum legal age for buying tobacco from 18 to 21 under plans due to be approved by Cabinet on May14, reports The Irish Times.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly is also drafting legislation to ban disposable vapes and restrict point-of sale-promotion of e-cigarettes.

The legislation will reportedly include a grace period allowing those aged 18-21 to keep buying tobacco products until a yet-to-be-named date.

Health officials are hoping that the age hike could also limit the social sources of cigarettes for children and young people as they may be less likely to be in social groups with people who can legally purchase cigarettes.

Seventy-three percent of adults and 71 per cent of those aged 18-24 support raising the legal age to purchase tobacco to 21, according to a survey by the Irish Heart Foundation.

In December, Ireland banned the sale of vapes under-18s.

From this September, there will also be curbs on advertising on public transport and near schools as well as a ban on sales at events attended by children. A ban on the sale of tobacco and vape products from vending machines is also to be enacted shortly, while a new licensing regime will mean all shops selling these products will have to pay an annual license.

About 18 percent of Irish adults currently smoke.