Statement from Dr Patrick Doorley, Chairman, ASH Ireland on Plain Packaging
March 29, 2017.
ASH Ireland today welcomed the news that the Irish Government has finally signed the Commencement Order for the remaining provisions of the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Act 2015.
In celebrating today’s announcement ASH Ireland Chairman, Dr Patrick Doorley, drew attention to the fact that Ireland has lost some time with the full roll-out of the plain packaging legislation, but emphasised the positive development that this last step in introducing plain packaging represents.
“The introduction of standardised packaging will remove the last major element of tobacco advertising in this country,” said Dr Doorley. It is beyond doubt that plain packaging reduces the attractiveness of the pack itself, which is a factor in discouraging young people from experimenting with tobacco products.
“For example, the introduction of standardised packaging in Australia has been hugely positive at every level, including the reduction of smoking prevalence among adults and children. In the two years following the introduction of plain packaging, smoking rates fell to an historic low of 12.8%. This is down from 15.1% two years before its introduction,” said Dr Doorley.
Dr Doorley also expressed his hope that plain packaging might come into effect ahead of the September 30, 2018 deadline.
“Even though the hard deadline for the removal of branded packs from the market is September 2018, we have seen in Australia and Britain that the tobacco industry doesn’t actually need the 12 month wash-out period to introduce plain packaging, and perhaps it will be introduced in Ireland before the 12 months are up,” Dr Doorley added.