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World No Tobacco Day 2024

31 May 2024

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On World No Tobacco Day, the Dental Health Foundation supports the government announcement that Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD will commence law to ban the sale of tobacco products and nicotine inhaling products by self-service. 

The prohibition will come into effect in September 2025, allowing time for all affected businesses to prepare for the change. It is the latest in a series of measures designed to protect the population from the health harms associated with tobacco and nicotine inhaling products.

Current law on the sale of tobacco products through vending machines requires the use of discs or cards obtained from staff and also requires oversight by staff. However, evidence from the National Environmental Health Service, the enforcement authority for the tobacco control law, shows that self-service vending machines are consistently more accessible to minors than over the counter sales.

Prohibiting the sale of tobacco products from self-service vending machines is a recommendation of Ireland’s national tobacco control policy, Tobacco Free Ireland and is in line with the Programme for Government commitment to restrict the types of retailers that sell these products.

Minister Donnelly said:

“On World No Tobacco Day, I am bringing into operation further elements of our overall tobacco control strategy. We are continuing to denormalise the sale of tobacco products to make it clear that a product that kills one out of every two of its users is not like other consumer products. We are also banning the sale of nicotine inhaling products by self-service to further tighten the availability and the advertising of these products.”

Minister of State with responsibility for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Colm Burke said: 

“I welcome these further measures as part of our overall strategy to reach a tobacco-free Ireland. There is evidence that the density of retail outlets selling tobacco products is associated with youth smoking and is a risk factor for relapse by smokers who have quit so reducing that density is an important step to protect our young people and to assist those who have made the important decision to quit.”