The Department of Health will not extend the smoking ban to include e-cigarettes and vaping devices. 

RTÉ Prime Time has learned that the Department has examined whether to include the growing sector in the workplace smoking ban, but was not able to do so because the evidence of the harm caused by e-cigarettes was not strong enough.

It will be up to individual premises and business owners whether they allow the use of e-cigarettes or not. 

The Department will introduce special licensing conditions for those selling ecigarettes and equipment.

Vaping shops and cafes in Ireland will have to get a special license.

Other rules - part of the European Tobacco directive - will also apply to e-cigarettes here.

These rules mean that for the first time, nicotine strength will be limited, while the size of bottles will be capped at 10ml.

All contents will have to be listed and new products will have to be submitted to the authorities six months in advance of the launch. 

The evidence of harm or otherwise from e-cigarettes will be kept under review by the Department of Health.

The new regulations will come into force in May 2016. 

In 2014 the World Health Organisation recommended that countries consider banning e-cigarettes in enclosed spaces.

In August, Public Health England, one of the most influential public health bodies, stated that e-cigarettes were at least 95% less harmful than smoking tobacco and recommended that they be considered as part of a programme to eliminate tobacco smoking.