Press Release

Minister Ivor Callely addresses Health Council meeting in Luxembourg on Tobacco Advertising

Mr. Ivor Callely, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, addressed a meeting of the Council of the European Union (Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs) in Luxembourg on 8 October 2002.

Minister Callely was speaking in the context of the on-going preparations at EU level for the meeting of the World Health Organisation┬┤s (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) which will start in Geneva on 14 October 2002.

“These negotiations will play a key role in the development of a comprehensive and effective tobacco control strategy in Europe. Many countries outside the EU look to the Community to provide strong leadership in this vital area of public health” said the Minister.

The global elimination of the advertising of tobacco products is a key issue and Minister Callely focused on this “One of the key instruments which the tobacco industry use to attract and initiate young persons to experiment with tobacco products is advertising. The ability to attract young smokers to their brands is the financial lifeblood of the tobacco industry. That is why we must proceed, as quickly as possible, to deny the tobacco industry access to young persons and to new youth markets in the developing countries. The longer tobacco advertising continues, the more young people will become addicted to tobacco products, leading to illness and premature death. The facts are quite stark – increased sales and profits for the tobacco industry means more addiction, ill health and death; a successful public health initiative in this area will reduce sales, will prevent young persons from becoming addicted and will lead to significant improvements in health in the Community” said the Minister.