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From September, all cigarette packs sold in Ireland will look the same

This makes part of effort to have Ireland tobacco free by 2025.

Some examples of standardised cigarette packs used in Australia
Some examples of standardised cigarette packs used in Australia
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

THE GOVERNMENT WILL bring forward legislation today for the standardised packaging of tobacco.

The aim of standardised packaging is to make all tobacco packs look less attractive to consumers, to make health warnings more prominent and to prevent packaging from misleading consumers about the harmful effects of tobacco.

The signing of this order means that all tobacco products manufactured for sale in Ireland from 30 September 2017 must be in standardised retail packaging.

There will be a wash-through period allowed, meaning any products manufactured and placed on the market before the September date will be permitted to stay on the market for a 12-month period.

Cigarette packaging Source: John Stillwell/PA Images

Standardised packaging means that:

  • All forms of branding – trademarks, logos, colours and graphics – are to be removed from tobacco packs
  • The brand and variant names would be presented in a uniform typeface for all brands
  • The packs would all be in one plain neutral colour.

The Irish Medical Organisation and ASH Ireland welcomed the measure. Patrick Doorley of ASH Ireland said:

“…the introduction of standardised packaging in Australia has been hugely positive at every level, including the reduction of smoking prevalence among adults and children.”

In the two years following the introduction of plain packaging, smoking rates fell to an historic low of 12.8%. This is down from 15.1% two years before its introduction.

Minister for Health Simon Harris and Minister of State Marcella Corcoran Kennedy are both behind the bill.

“It has been estimated to cost Irish society a total of €10.7 billion annually in healthcare, productivity and other costs,” according to Harris.

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Corcoran Kennedy said, “Ireland has the lowest age of children starting to smoke among all the EU Member States and almost 80% of smokers in Ireland start when they are children.

“Standardised packaging will reduce the attractiveness of tobacco products and forms a key part of Ireland’s strategy to reduce tobacco use, particularly uptake among children and young people.”

Almost 6,000 people die from tobacco related disease and tobacco use.

Read: This is the number of ‘current smokers’ in Ireland today

Read: ‘If you smoke 20 cigarettes a day, you inhale a mugful of tar each year’

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