Department of Health statement on UK plans to tackle tobacco and vaping

Date published: 29 January 2024

The Department of Health notes the UK Government’s plans to enable NI to legislate to increase the smoking age and to introduce measures aimed at reducing youth vaping, subject to Northern Ireland Assembly agreement.

Department of Health Latest News image white text on a departmental blue background
Department of Health Latest News image white text on a departmental blue background

In accordance with the provisions that are available, the Department will make the necessary preparations to allow incoming Ministers and the NI Assembly to take a decision on introducing the regulations in Northern Ireland.

Today’s announcement follows the publication of the outcome of the UK-wide consultation ‘Creating a smokefree generation and tackling youth vaping’. The consultation closed on 6 December and received 27,921 responses, including more than 1,200 from NI. The consultation report shows strong support for the proposed measures across the UK and particularly in Northern Ireland.

The Department of Health has a long-standing strategic aim for a tobacco-free Northern Ireland. Tobacco use continues to cause around 2,200 deaths in Northern Ireland each year. Alongside the immeasurable human costs, our hospitals spend approximately £200 million treating tobacco related conditions each year. Tobacco use is a huge threat to public health, but it is a threat that is entirely preventable.

Notes to editors: 

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  3. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours’ service for Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The Duty Press Officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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