ASH Ireland welcomes a commitment by Minister James Reilly earlier today that he would bring proposals to the Government to introduce the plain packaging of cigarettes on sale in Ireland. The Minister made this commitment at the launch of “Healthy Ireland” in the Mansion House.
ASH Ireland is disappointed that the introduction of plain packaging was not included in the Tobacco Products Directive, shortly to be approved within the EU. However we were always aware that individual countries could proceed and introduce plain packaging of tobacco on an independent basis. We very much welcome Minister Reilly’s decision to take this independent path as confirmed today. Minister Reilly will have the full support of ASH Ireland and the entire health sector with his plans to introduce plain packaging. This will constitute a hugely important health initiative, which will again contribute to the denormalisation of smoking and hopefully contribute to reducing smoking prevalence.
As experienced by the Australian government; the Tobacco Industry will fight Minister Reilly’s health initiative vigorously, however he now has the knowledge that the Australian government fought back and proceeded with this health initiative despite the efforts of the profit driven vested interests.
The bottom line for all of us in Ireland is that 5,200 of our citizens die every year because they smoke – and every effort must be made to reduce this dreadful statistic. The introduction of plain packaging will certainly be another positive step in the right direction.
For contact: ASH Ireland: 0818-305055
Wally Young, Young Communications: 087-2471520