Press Release

Minister launches new institute to study smoking

On World No Tobacco Day (31 May 2001), Mr Micheál Martin TD, Minister for Health and Children, launched a new research institute that will support the development of a tobacco free society.

The main aims of the Research Institute for a Tobacco Free Society will be to promote and develop academic excellence in tobacco and health studies and to advance public health in this area largely through research, particularly into tobacco marketing. The Institute will study all aspects of tobacco from a public health perspective – legal, economic and social.

The Office of Tobacco Control and ASH Ireland are joint trustees of the multidisciplinary Institute. The Institute directors are Dr Pat Doorly, Director of Public Health, Midland Health Board and Dr Fenton Howell, Chairman of ASH (Ireland).

“We are in no doubt about the damaging health effects of tobacco, but do need a better insight into the behavioural aspects surrounding its use. We need to change attitudes to tobacco and discourage smoking. This Institute will provide information that can be used to create more effective public policy to combat tobacco use” said Minister Martin.

Dr Fenton Howell said “the launch of this Institute by the Minister is most welcome. Our fight against the dread of nicotine addiction and consequential health problems has been severely restricted by the lack of relevant research in an Irish setting. The Institute also affords the NGO sector an opportunity to work in partnership with the Government in tackling many of the issues surrounding tobacco – marketing, supply and use”.