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VAPING NATION: Are teenagers being targeted by the vaping industry in Ireland?
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Although a relatively new phenomenon, almost 200,000 Irish people regularly vape with another 600,000 having tried an e-cigarette at some stage. Globally, the number of adults who vape is expected to reach almost 55 million by 2021.

But is it safe and who is influencing the growth of this habit? We are particularly interested in finding out if teenagers are being targeted by the vaping industry who sell kid-friendly flavours, such as red slushie, bubblegum and cola bottles, on the Irish market.

A recent Irish study found that 22% of 12-17 year olds have tried e-cigarettes. However, the Centre for Disease Control in the US has stated that their use is unsafe for kids, teens, and young adults yet the use of some brands such as JUUL has been reported as widespread in schools there. It was also found that 99% of e-cigarettes sold in the US contained nicotine and this can harm the developing teenage brain.

Some health professionals see vaping as a safer alternative to smoking. But there could be a new generation of Irish people who don't smoke tobacco getting addicted to nicotine.

In the United States, vaping associated lung injury has resulted in 68 deaths with over 2,800 more hospitalised cases reported. Though no deaths have been reported so far in Ireland, we would like to investigate if vaping is causing any adverse health effects here.

HELP US INVESTIGATE

We want to find out if teenagers being targeted by the vaping industry in Ireland to the same extent as in the US and other countries?

We want to investigate the government and HSE positions on vaping and whether there have been any adverse health effects reported here.

We also want to see if there should be advertising restrictions on vaping products similar to those in place for tobacco and want to look into the availability of unregulated vaping products in Ireland.

If you have any information that would help with our investigation, please email [email protected]

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