In what may be a first, a hurling club has banned the use of electronic cigarettes in its clubhouse.
Sarsfields GAA Club in Glanmire, Co Cork placed signs at the entrance to its bar warning patrons they are not permitted to use e-cigarettes in the main bar, or in the function room bar. The use of e-cigarettes, a notice said, was confined to a dedicated smoking area.
A number of semi-state bodies including Iarnród Éireann, Dublin Bus, and Bus Éireann have already banned the use of e-cigarettes but it’s believed Sarsfields may be the first hurling, or sporting, club in the country to do so.
The club was unavailable for comment yesterday.
However, the move was welcomed by Deputy Jerry Buttimer, who is chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Health.
“I welcome the club’s ban in light of the fact that there has been no definitive study as of yet on what the potential affects might be of smoking electronic cigarettes,” he said.
Mr Buttimer said sports clubs in particular had a role to play in promoting healthy lifestyles.
“I think at this stage it’s better to err on the side of caution until we see the outcome of such studies,” he said.
E-cigarettes provide a direct nicotine vapour shot to the user and, unlike ordinary cigarettes, don’t contain tar.
The growth in e-cigarette sales in this country has been phenomenal. Sales skyrocketed by 478% last year, generating €7.3m in revenue.
Bob Ryan, chairman of Cork County GAA Board, said he fully supported no smoking bans in clubs but that his organisation was not involved in prohibiting the use of electronic cigarettes.
“We wouldn’t get involved in how clubs run their premises as long as they apply the law of the land. I haven’t heard of this happening in any other club,” Mr Ryan said.
Currently, there are no regulations controlling the sale or advertising of e-cigarettes in Ireland and they are widely available in some shops and online.
However, last month the government said it would move to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to children under 18 years.
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