Back this bill

ANYONE who has watched a loved one or a friend die a slow, lingering and dignity-destroying death because of illness brought about by smoking will have - rightly - a hard, unsympathetic attitude towards the companies who sell tobacco or anything that sustains the culture of smoking.

It is unfortunate that after decades of educational programmes designed to prevent people becoming afflicted by nicotine addiction that so many people still smoke. It is unfortunate too that e-smoking, a snake-oil response to compensate for falling revenues, has gained a foothold in the popular imagination.

A bill to regulate electronic cigarettes has been published by Fianna Fáil senator Averil Power and Independent senator and consultant oncologist John Crown. In the broadest terms they want e-cigarettes to be treated as traditional tobacco products are now treated. It is hard to argue with the rationale behind their suggestions and, unless Government has more comprehensive proposals that can be quickly enacted, all parties should support their bill.

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