By Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA
The Government is to carry out a public consultation over a number of months looking to ban “wasteful” disposable vape products, a junior minister has said.
Minister of State Ossian Smyth, who has responsibility for public procurement, eGovernment and the circular economy, said that research shows around half of young people who vape use disposable vapes.
“My concern as someone responsible for the circular economy, is that this product, which contains lithium iron batteries, electronics and so on, is used for a very short period of time and then thrown away,” he said on RTE’s Morning Ireland programme.
“And that is just very wasteful, and it’s also something that has happened very suddenly in the last number of months that these suddenly appeared.
“If you went to a summer festival, you would have seen these very brightly coloured tubes all over the ground everywhere. So they’re an innovation which I think is making the world a worse place.”
Mr Smyth mentioned the Circular Economy Act that allows a ban on single-use products and the EU’s single use plastic directive as possible ways to ban disposable vapes.
“I know you can never completely ban a product. There are always ways to find your way around it. But we’re at the stage now where it’s the default option,” he said.
The Government is currently advancing its tobacco and nicotine inhaling products bill through the Irish parliament, which aims to regulate the strength of the products and the age group they can be sold to.
Mr Smyth said that this is priority legislation for the current Dail term and that he expects it to be implemented within the coalition government’s term in office.