Plain packaging the latest progressive step in fight against smoking
Fine Gael Dun Laoghaire TD and member of the Oireachtas Health Committee, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, has today (Tuesday) welcomed the publication of legislation which will introduce plain packaging for tobacco products, describing it as the latest progressive step in the fight against smoking.
“This legislation will remove all forms of branding including trademarks, logo, colours and graphics from cigarette packs and represents yet another progressive step in this Government’s commitment to radically reduce smoking rates.
“Ireland has developed a strong reputation as being a world leader in the fight against tobacco; under the previous Government we became the first country in the world to introduce a workplace smoking ban, and now we are the first country in the EU to introduce plain cigarette packs.
“For decades, the tobacco industry has pumped billions of dollars into getting us hooked on cigarettes. Step by step we have been loosening their grip. Smoking rates in Ireland have fallen in recent years, but we cannot become complacent and must take every stop possible to reduce rates further and save lives.
“Seven thousand people die from smoking related diseases in Ireland every year, and half of all smokers will die as a result of their tobacco habit. Smoking is the single most important preventable cause of illness and death, and it’s costing our health services €1 billion a year.
“Plain packaging will help to reduce smoking rates further and should help to prevent young people from taking up the habit in the first place. This is a very progressive public health initiative, and I would like to commend Minister Reilly for his commitment to this issue.”