Plain Cigarette Packaging Approved

Ireland is to become the second country in the world to introduce standardised, plain packaging for cigarettes, following government approval.

The move will see all individual branding removed from cigarettes on sale in Ireland, in a bid to discourage the public from taking up the habit.

Standardised packaging of tobacco products will remove all forms of branding, with the brand name presented in a uniform typeface and the packs all in one, plain, neutral colour.

Plain packaging has been mandatory in Australia since 2012.

"It is with great pleasure that I announce, ahead of World No Tobacco Day on Friday, that I have received Government approval to begin the process of introducing standardised/plain packaging of tobacco products in Ireland," said Health Minister James Reilly.

"While many arguments will be made against such an introduction, I am confident that this legislation will be justified and supported purely by the fact that it will save lives," he added.

Over 5,200 people die every year from tobacco related diseases in Ireland, according to the Department of Health.

The Department has also calculated that, in order to replace the smokers who quit, the tobacco industry needs to recruit fifty new smokers in Ireland every day to maintain smoking rates.

78% of smokers in a survey said they started smoking under the age of 18.

"It's clear that the tobacco industry focuses on children to replace those customers who die or quit," a statement said.

"The introduction of standardised packaging will remove the final way for tobacco companies to promote their deadly product in Ireland," the Minister said.

The Department of Health says research shows packaging has been used to reassure consumers over the risks of smoking, for example with the use of the words 'mild' or 'light' on packs in the past.

Imagery and colours are also known to influence consumers.

Minister Reilly concluded: "Plain packaging is one of a number of measures that are required to effectively denormalise smoking in our society. As such this initiative should not be looked at in isolation. Education and awareness, cessation services and extending the smoking ban to other areas are just some of the other measures which I am currently progressing."


Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

11 June 2014
Govt Introduce Plain Tobacco Packaging Bill
Plain packaging will be introduced for tobacco products after the publication of the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Bill was approved by the Government.
12 March 2015
President Higgins Signs Plain Packaging Legislation
Legislation for plain cigarette packaging has been signed by President Michael D Higgins. The new Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Bill 2014 will become law from May 2017, and will see cigarettes sold in plain standardised packaging, featuring a brand name alongside health warnings and graphic pictures.
13 August 2014
Govt Committed To Plain Cigarette Packaging - FG
The government is determined to proceed with the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Bill 2014, Fine Gael Cork North Central Senator, Colm Burke, has said.
04 March 2015
Plain Packaging For Tobacco Products Approved
The Oireachtas has passed a law for standardised packaging to be used on tobacco products. It is the second country in the world behind Australia, and the first in Europe, to approve such a law.
27 February 2015
Govt Should Share 'Sense Of Satisfaction' Over Cigarette Packaging Bill
The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr James Reilly, has said that the government will not be bullied into dropping plain cigarette packaging legislation. Minister Reilly said the government should share a "sense of satisfaction" for being the first EU country to pass the plain packaging law.