Sunday 22 April 2018

Cigarettes will be sold in plain packaging with graphic health warnings from September

The government wants to ensure all cigarettes boxes will be in plain packaging
The government wants to ensure all cigarettes boxes will be in plain packaging
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Plain packaging and graphic health warnings for cigarettes will be enforced from September

The order, which applies to all tobacco products from September 30, will outlaw the eye-catching traditional cigarette packet.

The commencement order has been signed by Minister for Health, Simon Harris and Health Promotion Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy.

* All forms of branding – trademarks, logos, colours and graphics – are to be removed from tobacco packs

*The brand and variant names will be presented in small print

*The packs will all be in one plain neutral colour. 

Research found that plain packaging would making smoking less attractive to youngsters thinking about taking up the habit
Research found that plain packaging would making smoking less attractive to youngsters thinking about taking up the habit

Remaining stocks, which are on shelves at that date that are in traditional packaging can continue to be sold for a year.

The aim of plain packaging is to make packets less attractive, particularly to children.

Around one in four people in Ireland still smoke.

Read More: Almost 6,000 died from smoking in 2016, campaigners claim 

Health Minister Simon Harris Picture: Colin O'Riordan
Health Minister Simon Harris Picture: Colin O'Riordan

Mr Harris said:“Smoking is a significant cause of ill-health in Ireland. Almost 6,000 people die from tobacco related disease and tobacco use. That is 6,000 families who go through the pain of losing a loved one when the stark reality is that these deaths are unnecessary and avoidable.

“It has been estimated to cost Irish society a total of €10.7 bn annually in healthcare, productivity and other costs. The Government is committed to changing that and standardised packaging of tobacco products is one such evidence-based measure that will assist in achieving our overarching goal of having Ireland tobacco free by 2025".

Read More: Tobacco firms' tax bill nears €500m ahead of plain packaging ban - report

Ms Corcoran Kennedy added: “The tobacco pack is the last advertising medium for the tobacco industry in Ireland and so is a critically important form of promotion.  Standardised packaging is the next step in tackling the promotion and advertising of tobacco.

“There is strong evidence emerging from Australia, that introducing standardised packaging is both effective and proportionate in reducing the toll of tobacco use on the population. Research has shown that younger people are more influenced by brands.

“ Ireland has the lowest age of children starting to smoke among all the EU Member States and almost 80pc of smokers in Ireland start when they are children. Standardised packaging will reduce the attractiveness of tobacco products and forms a key part of Ireland’s strategy to reduce tobacco use, particularly uptake among children and young people.”

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News