The Tanaiste said he would like to see a ban on disposable vapes in a bid to crack down on the sector.
Micheal Martin made the comments after British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak set out plans to get rid of disposable vapes to protect children’s health.
The Irish Government brought in legislation to make it illegal to sell vapes to anyone under 18.
However, more young people are using disposable vapes that are cheaper and come in a variety of colours and flavours.
Disposable vapes of varying flavours on sale in a store (Jacob King/PA)
A new law banning the sale of vapes to under-18s came into effect last month.
Anyone caught selling vapes can receive a penalty of up to 4,000 euros and up to six months in prison.
Asked if he would like to bring in similar legislation to that seen in the UK, Mr Martin said: “I would hope so. I am very anti-vapes, generally.
“I was in the shops over the weekend and it’s kind of depressing to see something which we managed to do with tobacco, we got tobacco off the shelves at the entrance into a shop.
“The old trick of the tobacco industry was, kids went in to buy sweets, you have the cigarettes next to the sweets, now you have the vapes with different flavours and so on like that.”Clearly the objective is to get kids, get young people, get teenagers hooked and you have an industry for the next 50 years, without any proper due diligence on what goes into these products.
“In my view, there needs to be far greater, from a health perspective, analysis of the products in terms of their harmful impact.
“I welcome any means to crack down on the sector. I just think it’s shocking the number of young people who are on the vapes now and it seems to me to be the replacement for the cigarettes.”
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