ASH Ireland Current Position on Electronic Cigarettes, May 2014

Like most health focussed organisations, ASH Ireland is 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.

 Note:  The following link is the Position Statement on electronic cigarettes of the Forum of International Respiratory Societies http://www.atsjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1164/rccm.201407-1198PP#.U9Yd9-NdVbE