Saturday 21 October 2017

Research backs Reilly plan for plain cigarette packets

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

PLANS to make Ireland the second country in the world to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes have received a boost as the first research into the measure shows it discourages people from smoking.

The findings from Australia, the first country to introduce the ban, showed that smokers are 66pc more likely to think their cigarettes are of poorer quality.

Smokers are 70pc more likely to say they found them less satisfying and 81pc have thought about quitting at least once a day as well as saying that quitting has a "higher priority in their lives", according to the findings published in the 'British Medical Journal'.

Plain packaging of tobacco products will remove all forms of branding – trademarks, logos, colours and graphics.

The brand name will be presented in a uniform typeface for all brands and the packs will all be in one plain neutral colour. It means that most of the cigarette packet will consist of a text and picture warning about the dangers of smoking.

The introduction of plain packaging in Ireland was approved by the Cabinet last May.

Health Minister James Reilly said yesterday: "Research has shown that packaging has been used effectively to give smokers a false sense of security by reassuring them about the risks of smoking.

"Imagery, colours and packet design are also used to influence consumers. Packaging and colouring that resemble perfume and lipstick are clearly aimed at young girls.

DECEPTIVE

"Given all we know about the dangers of smoking, it is not acceptable to allow the tobacco industry to use deceptive marketing gimmicks to lure our children into this deadly addiction and to deceive current smokers about the impact of their addiction.

"Smoking places an enormous burden of illness and mortality on our society, with over 5,200 people dying every year from tobacco-related diseases – one in two of all smokers will die from their addiction.

"This study provides further evidence that plain pack cigarettes are the next step forward in tackling this addiction.

"The introduction of standardised packaging will remove the final way for tobacco companies to promote their deadly product in Ireland. Cigarette packets will no longer be a mobile advertisement for the tobacco industry," Dr Reilly said.

Irish Independent

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