Standardised/Plain pack cigarettes

There is international evidence which suggests that standardised (plain) packaging can reduce the appeal of tobacco products, increase the effectiveness of health warnings and reduce the ability of branded tobacco packaging to mislead consumers about the harmful effects of smoking.

The Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Act 2015 was passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas and signed into law by the President on 10th March 2015. Ireland is the first country in Europe and the second country in the world to pass such legislation.

Part 5 of the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2016 seeks to amend certain sections of the 2015 Act. The legislative process for this Bill has been initiated in the Houses of the Oireachtas. The commencement of the provisions of the 2015 Act relating to standardised packaging will be deferred until the enactment of the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2016.

As well as providing for the standardised packaging of tobacco products, the 2015 Act also gives effect in part to Directive 2014/40/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products.  The provisions of the 2015 Act which give effect to the Directive came into force on 20th May, 2016. Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Act 2015 (Commencement) Order 2016 (S.I. No. 270 of 2016).