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Irish Senator Supports Policy Offering Vapor Products to Help Smokers Quit

Irish Senator Supports Policy Offering Vapor Products to Help Smokers Quit

 

 

Around the world, more politicians are recommending vapor products as a cessation tool for smokers looking to quit. In a report from The Times of Ireland, Senator Catherine Noone has become the most recent politician to advocate for strategy that would form a national policy to allow doctors to recommend vapor products for patients.


The self-described “nanny state” politician Noone said that using vapor to quit combustible cigarettes should be a priority due to the dangers that smoking poses, even if she personally doesn’t like or use vapor products herself.


"I'm known for having nanny state policies on alcohol, sugar and things like that, so I'm not in favour of e-cigarettes really,” Noone said. "I think they look a bit ridiculous but they help people quit smoking and we need to develop a policy that recognises that."


Noone is a Senator for the Fine Gael Party in Ireland and won an award last year for being “Ireland’s Nanny-in-Chief” when she cheekily accepted the ‘Golden Nanny’ award. For her speech she thanked “libertarians, contrarians, barbarians” and pointed out that this was not about the government raising awareness and preventing health issues.


"This is not about telling people what to do, but it is vital that the government raises awareness of how to prevent health issues rather than simply treating them," she said.


“Nanny state” policies are broadly categorized as direct action by the government to curb a societal problem, usually by taxation or other measures to limit use of a practice or product. A similar type of policy on display in New York City is former Mayor Michael Bloomberg' “Soda Ban” which in 2013-14 limited the size of cups of sodas in the city. Similarly, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s vape tax enacted in 2017 has been referred to as the “nanny state on steroids.” However, the laws that are enacted on the other side of the pond have absorbed vapor as a tool for cessation.


Ireland has been one of the more progressive nations concerning vapor. In January, this article in Trip Savvy, a guideline for tourists, explained at great length how vapor products are not covered under the country’s no smoking ban. The only exception is when a business specifically designates that it’s a vapor-free zone.


Ireland’s neighbor England also has one of the most progressive nanny state policies about vaping in the world. In 2016, the Royal College of Physicians submitted an article arguing that by restricting people from getting vapes that they’re keeping people from quitting cigarettes and harming lives. Even before that, Public Health England (the nation's official healthcare body) made the widely-reported claim that vaping is 95 percent safer than smoking.

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