Press Release

Minister Power Welcomes Decision to discontinue legal challenge to Public Health (Tobacco) Acts 2002 & 2004

Mr Sean Power TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, today (Wednesday, 31st January 2007) welcomed the decision by a number of plaintiffs, including PJ Carroll & Company Ltd, John Player & Sons Limited and Gallaher (Dublin) Limited, to discontinue their legal challenge to key provisions of the Public Health (Tobacco) Acts 2002 and 2004. The plaintiffs agreed that it was appropriate for the Court to make an order that the plaintiffs would pay full costs of the state in relation to the litigation.

The Minister said “My Department will now commence further provisions of the legislation, including a ban on all point of sale advertising.” At present, the only tobacco advertising and promotion permitted is in-store advertising and marketing paraphernalia and gantries which lead to prominent displays of tobacco products at points of sale. There is significant evidence that such displays are effective in promoting smoking – particularly among young people.

Tobacco is responsible for approximately 6,500 deaths from cancer, heart disease and respiratory diseases each year in Ireland. “Ireland has led the way in Europe and beyond in implementing legislation to address the tobacco epidemic. There is widespread agreement that the ‘Smokefree at Work’ legislation has been hugely successful. My Department can now significantly advance the tobacco control agenda further” said the Minister.