Robin Swann, the health minister for Northern Ireland, has welcomed the passing of a motion to include Northern Ireland in the UK Tobacco and Vapes Bill.

The proposed legislation will make it illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone born on or after January 1, 2009, and will provide powers to allow for further regulatory measures to address youth vaping.

The motion was passed following an Assembly debate on May 21, 2024.

Robin said, “Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable illness and premature death, with over 2,000 people in Northern Ireland dying from smoking-attributable conditions every year. Treating tobacco-related conditions also costs our hospitals over £200m annually.

“Support for proposed measures to tackle these issues is clear in the responses received from the Northern Ireland public to the UK-wide consultation on the bill.

“The Assembly has today taken the opportunity for bold action to protect our children and grandchildren from the misery that tobacco use brings, and I welcome this positive step forward.”