Press Release

Standardised /Plain Packaging for Tobacco Products Statement by Dr James Reilly, T.D., Minister for Health

Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly, T.D., today marked the publication in the UK of an independent review of the evidence for standardised tobacco packaging and the intention of the UK Government to publish regulations in this regard.

“I welcome the comments made by the Public Health Minister in the UK Parliament today concerning the UK Government’s intentions regarding the introduction of standardised packaging.”

“I welcome the findings of Sir Cyril Chantler’s report on standardised packaging of tobacco products in the UK. The review provides clear evidence of the benefit to public health which the measure will provide, particularly for children.”

In my view, this further strengthens the evidence base for standardised packaging of tobacco products and reaffirms Ireland’s commitment to introduce legislation to give effect to the introduction of standardised packaging” the Minister said

The Minister noted that Ireland is regarded internationally as a leader in the area of tobacco control, saying

“I was very pleased that we received approval from Government last November to proceed with the drafting of a Bill that will introduce standardised packaging for tobacco products similar to what is in place in Australia.”

Tobacco consumption is the largest avoidable health threat in Ireland; 1 in 2 smokers will die from a tobacco related disease. The Minister noted that the cumulative effect of Ireland’s tobacco control legislation to date has been a decrease in the number of people smoking.

“The latest figures from the National Tobacco Control Office report that 21.5% of Irish adults smoke. This represents a decline of 2.2% since 2010, and a decline of 7.5% since 2007 when the last comprehensive large scale study on smoking prevalence in Ireland was undertaken.”

The Minister reaffirmed his commitment to continue tackling smoking, stating

“My priority is to reduce the consumption of tobacco across the board, to meet our policy target of making Ireland tobacco free (i.e. with a smoking prevalence rate of less than 5%) by 2025.”

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