No cigarettes for those under 21 in Ireland


Ireland intends to raise the legal minimum age for people who buy tobacco to 21, according to a bill announced on Tuesday. This is the highest age limit in the European Union.

Government officials said the proposed legislation to raise the age limit from the current 18 years has already been approved by the cabinet. It aims to further reduce Ireland’s adult smoking rate.

Latvia has already introduced legislation that will raise the minimum age to 20 in 2025. In most EU countries, the age limit for buying tobacco or alcohol products is 18 years. It’s 21 for both in the US.

In 2004, Ireland became the first EU member to introduce an indoor smoking ban. Numerous countries followed with the same ban.

About 18% of the population over 15 are currently smokers, the country’s health department said.

According to Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, who announced the measure, there is evidence that the increased age “limits the social source of cigarettes for young people”. “They are less likely to be in social groups with people who can legally purchase cigarettes.”

Donnelly says there is also evidence that people between 18 and 21 years old are at high risk of becoming smokers.

The bill would provide that the extended ban does not apply to those who are currently between 18 and 21 years old.

It will also not have an impact on the minimum age for the sale of vapor smoking devices, which was set at 18 last December.