GRIM pictures will have to be published on cigarette packets warning smokers of the dangers of their habit, writes Brian McDonald.
Health Minister Dr James Reilly confirmed yesterday that he hoped to introduce the necessary legislation to the Dail before the summer recess.
An EU database of approved images has been developed for this purpose, including pictures of black lungs, a dead body in a mortuary and rotten teeth. The images are available to all of the EU member states.
Photos are expected to be more effective than the current text-only warning. International research has suggested that warnings should be changed periodically in order to maintain their effectiveness.
Canada was the first country to introduce picture-warnings in 2001. Research carried out a year later found that 31pc of ex-smokers said that the images had motivated them to quit.