The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

Will Ireland overtake UK in tobacco control?

The UK could be about to lose its top ranking for tobacco control measures in Europe as Ireland steals the limelight following its decision to proceed with standardised packaging for tobacco. 

In a press release for World No Tobacco Day (31 May), FCA member ASH predicts that unless the UK decides to proceed with standard packs, Ireland will replace it as #1 in tobacco control among the 27 EU member states.

"The UK had the chance to become the second country in the world to introduce standard tobacco packaging but is now lagging behind as Ireland takes the lead," said ASH Chief Executive, Deborah Arnott.

"For every day that Westminster dithers, another 570 children will take up smoking. There is no excuse for any further delay. The UK government should follow Ireland's example and bring forward legislation to stop the promotion of tobacco via cigarette packs. It's popular and effective: now Parliament should be allowed to decide," added Arnott.

In South-East Asia a major challenge is removing displays of cigarette packs at checkout counters, according to another FCA member, Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA). The displays send the message that cigarettes and smoking are as common and acceptable as other consumer products.

“The tobacco companies lie when they say they don’t advertise to children," said SEATCA Director Bungon Ritthiphakdee. "Of course they do – each time our children enter grocery stores and convenience stores they are exposed to the dangerous sales pitch of tobacco companies. We should be as vigilant about the activities by tobacco companies at POS as we have been about the mass media."

While most governments in the region have successfully curbed tobacco advertisements and promotions from public view, advertising and promotions at points-of-sale (POS) remain the last important avenue for the tobacco industry, adds SEATCA.


See also:

FCA press release: Tobacco industry relentlessly undermining advertising bans.

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