The Government, through its 2013 “Tobacco Free Ireland” Policy, set a target of a smoking prevalence of 5% by 2025. In 2022, the smoking prevalence was 18%, down from 23% in 2015 when the Healthy Ireland surveys first began, however smoking prevalence has remained stalled at 18% in Ireland in the last three years. Tobacco Free Ireland states that “the protection of children must be prioritised in all of the initiatives outlined in the policy” and that “denormalisation must be a complementary underpinning theme for all of the initiatives within the policy”.
It discussed electronic-cigarettes (e-cigarettes), which were emerging in Ireland at the time the policy was developed. It noted “a dearth of reliable evidence regarding the safety and effectiveness of some of these products as a smoking cessation product” and “growing concern internationally about the quality, safety and ‘regulatory gap’ of these emerging products”.
HSE's joint response to concerns around children and young people using e-cigarettes (PDF).
Students in their early teenage years are on the cusp of making choices that could have a significant impact on their health and well-being in the long term. While it is normal for young people to want to experiment with tobacco, e-cigarettes, alcohol or other drugs, their views and understanding of substance use will already be influenced by the adult world around them. It is beneficial to equip students with the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need prior to the situation arising where they may decide to experiment, or may feel curiosity or pressure to try tobacco, e-cigarettes, alcohol or other drugs. Engaging in discussions about substance use in school and at home can have a valuable influence to help guide and support them in their decision making.
Tips on how to have a conversation with your child about vaping (PDF)
Unit 1 Teaching Resources
Healthy Choices Unit 1
Unit 2 Teaching Resources
Quit4Youth is a seven-week, group stop smoking programme developed specifically for young people. The programme offers behavioural support in a fun, educational and non-judgmental manner. The aim for young people attending the programme is to quit smoking. Please note that while we have confidence in the underpinning evidence in terms of what works to support smoking cessation we do not have access to robust evidence in the cessation of vaping. However, while behavioural support for quitting smoking and medicines for managing nicotine withdrawal have not been developed or tested for stop vaping use, first principles would suggest that they could be useful as a stop vaping aid. We know these medicines have a well-established safety profile, and behavioural supports and techniques for addiction and health behaviour change have been applied successfully to multiple health behaviours. There should be consultation between the young person, GPs and parents/guardians so that they can discuss the pros and cons of using any medication.
Access resources for the Quit4Youth Programme
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