ASH Ireland is deeply concerned that the Taoiseach has recently met with representatives of the Tobacco Industry. Such a meeting is in conflict with the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC) and serves no purpose but to show support for an industry, whose products contribute directly to the death of over 5,200 people in this country each year. The meeting was supposedly about smuggling, however this industry has the much wider agenda of maintaining sales and profits, blocking the introduction of plain packaging and the watering down of the EU Products Directive.
Dr Ross Morgan, Chairman of ASH Ireland said today, “we are very surprised that this first meeting with a Taoiseach has been facilitated. Smuggling is a criminal issue and must be treated as such – and this should be done independently of the Tobacco Industry, which will always be driving the wider agenda of sales and profits. The Government must set health as the priority and must continue to support the EU Tobacco Products Directive and the move towards the introduction of plain packaging. The Australian Government has recently followed the health agenda and introduced plain packaging – and this is the path that others must now follow”.