The Luck of the Irish? Ireland’s Confused Stance on Vaping

Unsurprisingly, St Patrick’s Day is one of the most popular drinking days in the calendar, not only in Ireland and the UK, but in the US too. With approximately six million Brits claiming Irish ancestry, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate.

Many who are used to celebrating St Patrick’s Day year after year will remember a time when most Irish pubs in Britain and Ireland were thick with smoke on Paddy’s Day and also on any other popular night out you could think of, but since the smoking ban this is thankfully, for many, a thing of the past.

Ireland’s smoking ban was introduced in 2004, beginning in just workplaces and then extending to bars and restaurants too. The UK then followed suit three years later in 2006 in Scotland and 2007 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, banning smoking in all enclosed places. Considering its reputation as a hard-partying nation and the home of one of the world’s most famous beers, it’s perhaps surprising that Ireland was the first country in the world to impose a smoking ban in workplaces.

Ten years on, the stats on how many have quit smoking tobacco since the Irish smoking ban show mixed results. The number of tobacco-smokers who class their usage as ‘occasional’ or ‘light’ has actually increased, according to Ireland’s Health Service Executive. The ‘lives spared’ can mainly be attributed to those who aren’t suffering passively from tobacco-smoking, rather than people quitting in droves directly as a result of the ban.

It seems that outdoor smoking areas are just getting busier and busier. Anyone on a night out in a British or Irish city will find that there are often huge clusters of people gathering outside pubs and bars smoking tobacco, and this has been commonplace since the ban. In the UK, there are thankfully no plans to ban vaping indoors, but in Ireland it has been proposed, in an effort to drive even those who use e-cigarettes (which don’t expose others to carbon monoxide or any of the other chemicals and gases associated with tobacco-smoking) outside too.

Two Irish senators, Professor John Crown and Averil Power, “have introduced a bill in the Oireachtas (Irish Parliament) to tighten regulations on e-cigarettes” in the Republic of Ireland, which would include vaping falling under the same umbrella as tobacco-smoking, and be banned in workplaces and other public places. There are numerous stages to passing such a bill, and it’s unclear how much support it has garnered. Hopefully, Irish people, and those visiting the Republic, will still be able to safely enjoy e-cigarettes indoors for many years to come.

In the UK, e-cigarettes and vaping can still be enjoyed in bars, clubs, pubs and other public places. Make your St Patrick’s Day one to remember this year with our exclusive offer, available for 24 hours only. Get 20% off all menthol e-liquid (a choice of 16 flavours) for 24 hours only – ending Wednesday 18th at 12pm. Just use the code paddymenthol8 at the checkout.

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