Plain pack­ag­ing for cig­a­rettes rule takes ef­fect this week­end

Irish Daily Mail - - News - By Naomi McElroy

PLAIN pack­ag­ing on cig­a­rettes comes into ef­fect this week­end, al­though it will take at least a week be­fore shoppers see the plain pack­ets in lo­cal stores.

Health ex­perts have said the move re­in­forces Ire­land’s stand­ing as one of the lead­ing coun­tries in the world in the bat­tle to stop smok­ing.

Dr Des Cox, chair of the pol­icy group on to­bacco at the Royal Col­lege of Physi­cians of Ire­land, said it was a step to­wards achiev­ing a to­bacco-free Ire­land by 2025.

He said: ‘Re­search to date has shown that plain pack­ag­ing is suc­cess­ful in re­duc­ing the ap­peal of smok­ing through the re­place­ment of brands and lo­gos with health warn­ings.

‘Plain pack­ag­ing elim­i­nates to­bacco pack­ag­ing as a form of ad­ver­tis­ing and has been shown to help de­crease to­bacco con­sump­tion in coun­tries where it has al­ready been in­tro­duced.’

Ire­land was the first coun­try in the world to ban smok­ing in the work­place and will be the fourth to bring in plain pack­ag­ing on cig­a­rettes, which ex­perts say has cut smok­ing rates in Aus­tralia.

Pro­fes­sor El­iz­a­beth Keane, also of the Royal Col­lege of Physi­cians, wel­comed the news, say­ing: ‘This will pro­tect chil­dren from tak­ing up smok­ing and will en­cour­age ex­ist­ing smok­ers to quit.

‘More than 5,500 peo­ple die in Ire­land each year from the ef­fects of smok­ing.’

A spokesman for Re­tail Ire­land said: ‘Most gro­cery out­lets are linked to brands or sym­bol chains, so they tend to have a lot of stock which they can legally run out be­fore the plain pack­ag­ing comes into ef­fect. In most stores, it will prob­a­bly take at least a week.’

The Royal Col­lege of Physi­cians also called on the Gov­ern­ment to in­crease ex­cise duty on to­bacco in its pre-Bud­get sub­mis­sion. It is widely ex­pected that the tax on cig­a­rettes will rise for the sixth con­sec­u­tive year in a row.

Last year, Michael Noo­nan added 50cent to the cost of a pack of 20 cig­a­rettes, bring­ing them to more than €11 for the first time.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.