The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

Ireland moves towards plain packaging

Example of imagery on an Australian plain pack. (c) Gov't of Australia.Ireland has taken another step towards plain packaging, after its Cabinet approved a Bill to make all cigarette packaging standardised with health warnings.

The Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Bill 2013 will eliminate all branding on packs, such as logos, trademarks, colours and graphics.

The Bill also determine the position and size of warnings, (allowing for larger ones at later dates). It will be submitted (for review and report) to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children.

As reported in the online edition of the Irish Times, Minister for Health James Reilly said 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,” Dr Reilly said.

“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.”

Dr Reilly also said he would be astonished if the tobacco industry didn’t mount a legal challenge.

Once Ireland adopts plain packaging, it will be the second country (behind Australia) to do so.

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