Standardised Cigarette Package Hearings To Be Held

File:James Reilly February 2011.jpg

Hearings are due to be held by the Oireachtas Health Committee concerning forthcoming legislation which will standardise both cigarettes packaging and the health warnings displayed on these packs. Branding and logos are to be removed, and larger graphic warnings featuring diseased and damaged organs will be included under terms of the Public Health Standardising Packaging of Tobacco Bill 2013.

The Cabinet has approved the Heads of Bill which will standardise the packaging, and has also given their approval to Health Minister James Reilly’s recommendation that the Bill’s General Scheme be submitted for hearings. Over 5,000 people die from tobacco-related causes each year in Ireland, and Minister Reilly has previously outlined his support for a zero tobacco-consuming society.

Commenting on the decision, Minister Reilly said. “The Government is determined to implement this legislation, in particular for the sake of the children and young people of Ireland. Cigarette packs have been described as the last billboard for the tobacco industry; this legislation will force the industry to show with greater clarity, the potential devastating effects of smoking on health. As it stands the tobacco companies use packets of various shapes and colours to attract young people to take up the killer habit. Standardised packaging – all the one type – with much larger warnings will be a deterrent. Today’s decision by the Government will also contribute to our goal of achieving a tobacco-free Ireland by the year 2025.”

He added: “Unfortunately approximately 5,200 Irish people die each year from diseases caused by smoking. Fortunately many others give up but this means the tobacco industry must recruit many new addicts each year. Protecting our children and young people from starting to smoke is a key goal for me as Minister for Health. There is a wealth of international evidence on the effects of tobacco packaging in general and on perceptions and reactions to standardised packaging which support the introduction of this measure.”

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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