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Dublin: 12°C Saturday 27 February 2021
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Plain cigarette packaging should be introduced 'as soon as possible'

A coalition of health groups are meeting this morning to urge that upcoming legislation be enacted.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

A COALITION OF health and children’s charities is urging the Oireachtas to introduce plain packaging on cigarettes “as quick as possible”.

The call comes ahead of a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children this morning where the legislation will be discussed.

The groups involved say the new laws, which would introduce plain packaging on all tobacco products as well as large graphic health warnings, will prove “vital” in protecting the next generation from the negative health effects of smoking.

Irish Heart Foundation, Irish Cancer Society, COPD Support Ireland, Asthma Society of Ireland, Irish Thoracic Society, ISPCC, Barnardos, Children’s Rights Alliance and ASH Ireland have all come together to urge for action on further regulation of the sale of tobacco products.

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A meeting hosted by the coalition will take place this morning where patients affected by a range smoking-related diseases will express their support for the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Bill) 2013.

One of those involved with the groups, Frank Cox who was diagnosed with lung cancer at the of 66, said he was one of the ‘lucky ones’.

“As a lung cancer survivor, I think we owe plain packaging to those lives lost to tobacco in this country,” he said.

They may have lost their battle but we can fight this battle for their children and grandchildren”

“I want the next generation to know that smoking really does kill and to realise that it is not normal for a product to be on the market which kills people. Plain packaging will help this – it will help show that cigarettes are not normal consumer products which can carry normal branding.”

The Oireachtas Health Committee will be meeting with Gavin Maguire, Assistant National Director in the areas of Environmental Health and Emergency Planning at the HSE, as well as representatives from An Garda Síochána and Revenue Commissioners.

The committee meets at 9.30am in Room 2see our guide to what’s happening in Leinster House to find how to watch.

Report: Cigarettes are more dangerous than ever >

Read: Department of Health hopes to regulate e-cigarettes this year >

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About the author:

Nicky Ryan

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