Press Release

Publication of the new Public Health (Tobacco) Bill, 2001

Mr. Micheál Martin, T.D., Minister for Health and Children has today, Wednesday 1st August, 2001 published a new comprehensive Public Health (Tobacco) Bill to give effect to the proposals in the Government´s policy document “Towards a Tobacco Free Society“.

Minister Martin proposes to introduce the Bill in the Oireachtas at the earliest possible date. The Minister has identified the need for comprehensive, strengthened legislative measures to tackle tobacco use as his number one public health priority.

“Public health success in reducing tobacco use requires activity on all fronts. I believe that these additional legislative provisions and all of the other measures I’ve introduced will confirm Ireland as being at the vanguard at European level in the fight against tobacco. We have made available additional resources for health promotion initiatives, and research and enforcement activities. The new Tobacco Control Agency will play a vital role in our fight against the tobacco epidemic” said the Minister.

The Minister totally rejects criticism by Fine Gael that he will not be taking action in relation to protection from passive smoking in pubs. The Minister intends using enabling powers under section 46 of the Bill to extend environmental controls on smoking to a range of public areas and public facilities not already covered by existing legislation and regulation including pubs.