Press Release

Minister Wallace URGES smokers to give up smoking

Ms Mary Wallace, T.D. Minister of State for Health Promotion and Food Safety at the Department of Health and Children today, 24th February 2009, called on smokers to try to give up smoking. She is urging smokers to resolve to use the opportunity of 25th of February, “National No Smoking Day”, as the starting point to try to give up smoking.

“National No Smoking Day” is a traditional day that smokers attempt to quit. There is more support available today to help smokers quit than ever before.“The link between cardiovascular disease, cancers and smoking is well documented. Giving up smoking is the single most important thing smokers’ can do for their own health and the health of those around them”, the Minister said.

Anyone wishing to quit or those who need further information should contact the Smoking Quitline at 1850 201 203, Monday to Friday from 8am to 10pm.

The Minister also announced further provisions of the Public Health (Tobacco) Acts 2002 and 2004 which will be commenced with effect from 1 July 2009.

These include:

  • A ban on all in-store/point-of-sale advertising of tobacco products;
  • A ban on the display of tobacco products in retail premises;
  • The introduction of a closed container requirement for all tobacco products;
  • Tighter controls on the location and operation of tobacco vending machines;
  • The introduction of a retail register for tobacco retailers.

From 1 July 2009, no advertising or display of tobacco products will be permitted in retail outlets. The location of prominent tobacco displays in retail outlets plays a role in promoting tobacco consumption. Its placement in proximity to everyday consumer goods, such as newspapers and sweets, helps tobacco to be seen as a benign consumer product. Tobacco advertising at the point of sale is also a key factor in a young person starting and continuing to smoke. If young people can be prevented from purchasing tobacco products there is less chance they will become addicted and suffer a smoking related illness. Restricting advertising will also support adults who are trying to quit.

“The implementation of these measures has been anticipated for some time. They are needed to further de-normalise tobacco and to protect children in particular and adults from the dangers of tobacco consumption” the Minister said.