Press Release

Varadkar welcomes the publication of the Action Plan for the implementation of the recommendations in Tobacco Free Ireland

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar welcomed the publication today of the Action Plan for the implementation of the recommendations in Tobacco Free Ireland. Tobacco Free Ireland was the first policy document to be launched under the Healthy Ireland framework and sets a target for Ireland to be tobacco free (i.e. with a smoking prevalence rate of less than 5%) by the year 2025.

Tobacco Free Ireland has over 60 recommendations and the Action Plan was drawn up following consultation with those who will have responsibility for ensuring that the recommendations are implemented. Minister Varadkar said “Tobacco use is the single biggest preventable cause of serious ill health in our community. Whilst we have made some progress in reducing the prevalence of smoking in Ireland over the last number of years, we now need to accelerate that progress in order to achieve our goal of a Tobacco Free Ireland by 2025. The actions and timelines set out in this action plan are challenging and will be subject to annual review to ensure we are making the progress we need. Some of the actions are legislative and deal with issues relating to marketing, licencing and protecting people from second-hand smoke and involve both domestic and European Union legislation. Other measures deal with how we can best ensure that children recognise that smoking is not the norm and is something that they don’t get involved in. There are also actions in the plan which ensures that smokers get the encouragement and help that they need in order to quit smoking.  I encourage all health professionals, especially doctors, to prioritise smoking cessation for their patients as quitting smoking is the best thing a smoker can do for their health. The Action Plan also recognises that organisations other that the Department of Health and the Health Service Executive have a significant role to play in the battle against tobacco.

Download the Tobacco Free Ireland Action Plan here.