Statement on UK-wide public consultation on tobacco and vaping

Date published: 12 October 2023

The Department of Health has a long-standing strategic aim for a tobacco-free Northern Ireland.

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

Important strides forward have been made including a reduction in smoking prevalence, with adult smoking rates here falling from 24% to 17% over the last 11 years. However, a recent review of our tobacco control strategy highlighted several remaining challenges, not least the continued preventable premature death and ill-health caused by smoking. Approximately 2,200 people die each year in Northern Ireland from smoking related conditions.

To help inform future decision-making on tobacco policy and legislation, the Department has agreed that NI will be included in the public consultation launched today by the Prime Minister.

This eight-week UK-wide consultation will cover proposals to make it illegal for anyone born on or after 1 January 2009 to ever be sold tobacco products at any point in their lives. The consultation will also include a series of proposals to clamp down on the sale and use of vapes by children and young people including restrictions on flavours, display, packaging and disposable vapes.

Comments in response to the public consultation are welcome from anyone, of any age, in Northern Ireland.

The outcome of this consultation will help inform decisions of incoming NI Ministers and the Executive, or in the absence of Ministers, those decisions that can be taken under the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2022.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The consultation can be acessed via the website.
  2. For media enquiries please contact the DoH Press Office by email
  3. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt.
  4. 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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