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Tougher laws here on cigarette packaging

LAWS will be stepped up in relation to cigarette packaging and there will be a new ban on flavoured tobacco products, the EU Commission said today.

The average age of taking up smoking in Ireland is the lowest in the EU at 16.4 years old. And as 94pc of all smokers start under the age of 25, the proposals are aimed at preventing children and young people taking up smoking.

The European Commission has proposed tougher rules on how tobacco products can be manufactured, presented and sold. The proposals include plans to regulate cross-border internet sales.

According to estimates, smoking costs EU countries at least €100bn and every year kills almost 700,000 people in Europe.