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Graphic photographs to be placed on cigarette packets

Minister for Health James Reilly has said that he hopes the images, which show the negative health impacts associated with smoking, will ‘shock’ people into thinking about the impact of smoking.

Image: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

GRAPHIC PHOTOGRAPHS DEPICTING the negative health impacts associated with smoking are to be placed on tobacco products, the Minister for Health has announced.

James Reilly said that if the images “shocked” people into considering the impact of smoking “then the warnings will have achieved their objective”.

The move comes on the back of research and evidence from other countries which suggest that photographs are an effective way to discourage smoking and informing people about the health risks.

“We should never lose sight of the health consequences of smoking, which remains the greatest single cause of preventable illness and premature death in Ireland, killing over 5,200 people a year,” the Minister said. He added:

Every year, premature deaths caused by tobacco use in Ireland are far greater than the combined death toll from car accidents, fires, heroin, cocaine, murder and suicide.

The Minister has approved and signed the regulations (PDF) which will introduce the photographs already, but they won’t fully come into effect for some time.

All tobacco products placed on the market on or after 1 February 2013 will have to comply with the new regulations – while any tobacco products already for sale prior to 1 February 2013 can still be offered for sale until 1 February 2013.

The graphic images can be seen in this PDF from the Department of Health.

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