The minister for the cabinet office intends to introduce a law to prevent the sale of vape and e-cigarette devices to under 18-year-olds.
Selling these products to under 18s is currently at each retailer’s discretion.
Over recent months there have been reports of a significant increase in the use of vapes and in particular disposable vapes by young people. These reports come from a wide range of sources, including schools.
Kate Lord-Brennan told the House of Keys that her department plans to draft up a Bill for public consultation ‘before Christmas’.
She added that Public Health is currently engaging with retailers and stakeholders on the policy and legislation and she will be pushing for the draft Bill to be completed in the time frame promised.
‘The consultation will give the public the opportunity to give their thoughts on what should be covered in the legislation,’ Ms Lord-Brennan said.
‘Public Health is working with the Department of Education, Sport and Culture on creating information resources and assemblies in schools are being organised in collaboration with the police and Quit4You [the island’s free stop smoking service].’
The Bill could go before Tynwald before Easter 2023.
This followed Arbory, Castletown and Malew MHK Jason Moorhouse’s question to the education minister on discussions with the Chief Constable about vaping in schools.
Julie Edge explained it was not an operational matter for the constabulary as there is no legislation in place against it.
She said the actions that can be taken by schools include confiscating the vaping or e-cigarette device, calling parents into school, asking parents if they wish to dispose of it or collect the item, and schools will have their own sanctions on behaviour policy.
Ms Edge added that vaping is treated ‘in the same way’ as any other smoking in school and is sanctioned in the same manner.
She didn’t, however, have any data on how many kits had been confiscated since the beginning of the school year.
The EU and UK introduced regulatory controls for nicotine containing products in 2016, and there is strong medical advice from across the world on the dangers of smoking and vaping.
Public Health strongly advises all those under 18 years of age not to vape. The highly addictive nicotine found in vapes may pose a health risk to still developing bodies, including the potential for underdeveloped lungs.