ASH Ireland welcomes the launch of a Bill in the Oireachtas today, by Senators John Crown and Averil Power, which will hopefully lead to the regulation of electronic cigarettes

Like most health focussed organisations, ASH Ireland has been keeping the issue of e-cigarettes constantly under review. Despite an initial hope that these products could be of assistance in regard to cessation, we are now forming a view that this product, which is being marketed forcefully by the Tobacco Industry, may become another addictive product with few benefits and little impact on smoking cessation possibilities. We have noted and responded to the Irish health authorities (HSE) decision to ban e-cigarettes in all its facilities. We have also noted that in some jurisdictions e-cigarettes are being banned, and in other countries such as Ireland, authorities are struggling with the appropriate response. The lack of regulation in regard to manufacture, content levels and marketing is an on-going concern. E-cigarettes, despite their current presentation as an attractive item on the one hand, and less harmful than tobacco on the other, carry nicotine which is highly addictive and can be dangerous if not consumed in appropriate and recommended doses. Some recent publicity is actually highlighting the poisonous qualities of nicotine in the e-cigarette environment.

The lack of definite research in regard to benefits or cessation possibilities in regard to the use of e-cigarettes is an on-going concern, as some years ago there were expectations that such outcomes could have been possible.

As the Tobacco Industry has invested heavily in this product; it will be more difficult to see any agenda other than profit being pursued by the manufacturers.

ASH Ireland will continue to keep the e-cigarette environment under review and we will continue to communicate with the Irish Government in regard to the publication of guidelines and regulation on this product.

Tight regulations on e-cigarettes proposed by senators is most welcome.

 ENDS 

For contact: ASH Ireland:  0818-305055

Wally Young, Young Communications:  087-2471520

Smoking and Pregnancy

ASH Ireland has noted the contents of a report, “Maternal Health Behaviours and Child Growth in Infancy”, published today by the Growing Up in Ireland Study team, which among other things, deals with smoking rates among women who are pregnant. 

The fact that 13% of Irish women continue to smoke while pregnant is of concern, however, we must also recognise that this is a significant decrease on the 28% of pregnant women found to be smoking back in 1999. We have also noted that the smoking rates apply primarily to people in the lower socio economic groups. It is crucially important that support and investment is provided so that these women who continue to smoke during pregnancy can find ways of quitting.  This is a challenge for our health services. 

There is long established evidence to show that babies born to women who smoke during pregnancy are of lower body weight and this of course does raise health issues for the baby at birth and into the future. 

ASH Ireland would of course encourage all persons who smoke to attempt to quit, especially pregnant women, but we also realise that many people will require significant support and assistance to do so.

 

ENDS 

For contact: ASH Ireland:  0818-305055

Wally Young, Young Communications:  087-2471520