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Dublin: 10 °C Thursday 20 June, 2019
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Tobacco company questions how much plain packaging will cost the State

TDs are due to debate a bill paving the way for plain packaging later this week.

Image: cigarettes via Shutterstock

TOBACCO COMPANY JOHN Player has called on the government to reveal how much plain packaging for cigarettes will cost the state.

It also warned that it intends to “robustly defend its freedoms of commercial speech”.

TDs are due to the debate the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Bill 2014 later this week in the Dáil, that would introduce mandatory plain packaging for all cigarette boxes.

Minister for Health James Reilly said previously that it is “not acceptable” that companies can use “deceptive marketing gimmicks to lure our children into this deadly addiction”.

He also referred to packaging as a “mobile advertisements for the tobacco industry”.

John Player has criticised that a Regulatory Impact Analysis carried out this year has not yet been published.

“The Minister is expecting TDs to debate the Bill on the blind without any idea of what it might ultimately cost the State,” the company noted.

It also referred to Dáil question which indicated that the Department of Public Expenditure was not consulted on the issue of cost analysis, however the question also outlines that individual Departments are not obliged to.

Ireland is due to become the first country in the European Union to introduce plain packaging on cigarettes.

“This represents a significant step forward in our tobacco control policy and our goal of being a smoke free country by 2025,” said Minister Reilly.

There is a wealth of international evidence on the effects of tobacco packaging in general and on perceptions and reactions to standardised packaging which support the introduction of this measure.

Read: Ireland will be the first country in the EU to bring in plain packaging on cigarettes >

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Nicky Ryan

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