Press Release

Minister for Health and Children welcomes EU Proposals for a Directive on Tobacco Advertising and Sponsorship

Following agreement at the Health Council meeting in Brussels today (2 December 2002), the EU will shortly adopt a Directive to control tobacco advertising and sponsorship.

Commenting on the outcome, Mr. Micheál Martin, T.D., Minister for Health and Children, welcomed the development of community controls in this area. He pointed out that “tobacco is a major threat to the health of our citizens and I am glad that the EU has taken a significant initiative in controlling tobacco advertising and sponsorship. It is estimated that 500,000 EU citizens die each year from tobacco related illness and in Ireland about 7,000 deaths each year are due to tobacco related illness”.

“Achieving agreement on this issue has been difficult and Commissioner Byrne is to be complemented on the progress made” said the Minister.

“We were concerned at today´s meeting to ensure that our national legislation (the Public Health (Tobacco) Act, 2002) was not undermined and that individual member States are free to introduce stronger measures and we have achieved both these objectives. In Ireland tobacco advertising and sponsorship has ended since July 2000 other than limited retail and trade advertising,” concluded the Minister.