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Smoking in Ireland

18% of the population are current smokers, with 14% daily smokers and 4% occasional smokers. These figures are the same as those reported in 2021-2022. Smoking is higher amongst men (21%) than women (15%) and higher amongst those who are unemployed or have not completed the Leaving Certificate. 33% of the population are ex-smokers. 49% of those who have smoked in the past year have attempted to quit smoking, with 23% of this group successfully quitting smoking. 58% used willpower alone, 25% used e-cigarettes, and 19% used nicotine replacement therapy. 8% of the population currently use e-cigarettes either daily (5%) or occasionally (3%), with a further 12% reporting they have tried them in the past but no longer use them. In 2022, 6% were current users of e-cigarettes. A fifth (20%) of women aged 15-24 use e-cigarettes either daily or occasionally; the rate for men of the same age group is 16%. Source: Healthy Ireland Survey 2023. (2023, November 22). Department of Health. For further information and full references, click through to the detailed datasheets above.

Read articles from Ireland

February 07, 2024 by

Banning disposable vapes is needed on heath and environmental grounds, says Cork TD

A Cork TD has said a ban on the sale of disposable vapes is needed “both on health and environmental grounds”. Fine Gael spokesperson for health Colm Burke said that while vaping was initially introduced as a means to wean smokers off cigarettes, the alarming surge in the use of disposable vapes by under 18s is “hugely concerning”. “Instead of acting as a means of assisting adults with nicotine addiction, they are acting as a pathway to tobacco use,” said Mr Burke.

January 31, 2024 by

Will Ireland’s Public Vape Consultation Trigger Bans?

A public consultation to help determine the future of vaping in Ireland has come to an end. The results aren’t yet known, but tobacco harm reduction advocates are nervous about the potential outcomes. The consultation, conducted by the Department of Health, began in November 2023 and ended on January 5. It asked the public to participate in a survey, picking from different measures to “decrease the appeal of nicotine inhaling products to young people, further denormalize smoking, and improve public health.”

January 22, 2024 by

Ireland Discards Proposed Vape Tax in the Name of Tobacco Harm Reduction

The Irish Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath, has decided to postpone the implementation of an imminent vape tax due to concerns that it might discourage smokers from using e-cigarettes as a tool to quit smoking. Officials from the Department of Finance and the Department of Health expressed the need to strike a balance, discouraging young people from vaping while supporting existing smokers using vapes to transition away from traditional cigarettes.

January 12, 2024 by

Free nicotine replacement therapy from the HSE

January is a popular time for people to try to stop smoking. Many try to quit alone without supports and therapies that can give the best chance of quitting, such as stop smoking medications. The HSE is here to help you quit by providing free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) along with other tried and tested supports. Dr Paul Kavanagh, HSE Public Health Medicine Consultant Lead with the Tobacco Free Ireland Programme, explains how NRT is safe and effective: “NRT are tightly regulated medicinal products which are overseen by the Health Products Regulatory Agency (HPRA) in Ireland.

January 09, 2024 by

Irish Government Pauses New Vape Tax

The Irish Minister for Finance Michael McGrath has postponed the implementation of a vaping tax over concerns that it would discourage smokers who use e-cigarettes to quit smoking. Officials from the Department of Finance announced the step back in a pre-budget submission, noting that “a delicate balance needed to be struck”. Chris Macey, Director of Advocacy at the Irish Heart Foundation originally celebrated news of a potential tax on vapes back in 2023, saying: “Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances on the planet and there has been an explosion in youth use of e-cigarettes that has been further fuelled by the advent of disposable vapes. We can’t afford to wait a moment longer than necessary to impose this tax.

December 22, 2023 by

Ban on sale of vapes and e-cigarettes to children to come into effect from Friday

The ban on the sale of e-cigarettes or vapes to children in Ireland comes into force [...] the Government has announced. Health Minister Stephen Donnelly secured Cabinet approval for the move earlier this year. The measure was signed into law by President Michael D Higgins earlier this month. From then on, it will be an offence to sell a nicotine inhaling product to someone under the age of 18. The offence will carry a penalty of a fine of up to €4,000 and a prison sentence of up to six months. The new bill also contains a number of wide-ranging measures aimed at tackling the issue of smoking and vaping among adults.

December 21, 2023 by

Government bans sale of vaping products to under 18s

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has announced the banning of the sale of nicotine inhaling products such as e-cigarettes to children. Mr Donnelly had secured cabinet approval earlier this year and the law will prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes (commonly referred to as vapes) to people under 18. The Public Health (Tobacco Products and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill comes into effect from tomorrow. Under the new law, it is an offence to sell a nicotine inhaling product to a child.

December 18, 2023 by

Flavoured vapes ban 'needed now' as manufacturer urges stricter laws on e-cigs

A ban on flavoured vape products is urgently needed to stop them being targeted at underage users, a company which produces the products said yesterday. BAT Ireland called for confectionery, dessert and soft drink flavours to be proscribed to stop products appealing to minors. The company made the comments in response to the public consultation on vaping recently launched by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly. A ban on flavours that target the underage are part of a range of measures being proposed by the company to make the industry more responsible.

December 06, 2023 by

Minister for Health welcomes the passing of legislation banning sale of e-cigarettes to under 18s

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly is today welcoming the completion of the Public Health (Tobacco Products and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill in both Houses of the Oireachtas. The Bill will now be sent to Uachtarán na hÉireann for signing. Minister Donnelly has asked officials in his department to immediately prepare the necessary Statutory Instrument so that the ban on the sale of nicotine inhaling products, including e-cigarettes or ‘vapes’ to under-18s will come into law before Christmas.

December 05, 2023 by

Three-quarters of people support plan to phase-out tobacco sales in Ireland

More than three quarters of people in Ireland support a total phasing out of tobacco sales, eventually outlawing them from shops, a new poll revealed today. The dramatic move and timeline would mean that people born after a certain date would never be able to legally purchase cigarettes. The Ipsos data on the proposed bold crackdown was presented at a conference in Dublin organised by ASH Ireland and the Irish Heart Foundation, to examine a tobacco “endgame” for Ireland as well as the regulation of e-cigarettes.


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07 December 2023

Ireland's latest vaping restrictions EXPLAINED!

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05 December 2023


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29 June 2017

A snapshot of tobacco harm reduction in Ireland - Gillian Golden

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12 November 2017

GFN Dialogue Dublin - Gillian Golden

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16 September 2019

A 3-month ENDS-based intervention with people accessing...

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12 November 2017

GFN Dialogue Dublin - Q&A

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23 June 2022

GFN'22 | Prohibition by stealth - using tax and regulation to block harm reduction

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16 January 2024