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Home > Controlling passive smoking through legislation in Ireland: an attack on civil liberty or good public health policy?

McNicholas, WT (2004) Controlling passive smoking through legislation in Ireland: an attack on civil liberty or good public health policy? European Respiratory Journal, 24, (3), pp. 337-338. 10.1183/09031936.04.00080104.

External website: http://erj.ersjournals.com/content/24/3/337.long

On March 29, 2004, comprehensive legislation was enacted in Ireland banning all forms of smoking in the workplace. This legislation was designed to prevent any worker being subjected to passive smoking and represented the first legislation of its kind in Europe. While broadly similar legislation is in place in parts of the USA, particularly in New York and California, the Irish legislation represented the first national legislation banning smoking in the workplace. Similar legislation has followed in Norway, and is likely to be introduced shortly in several other European countries.

The Irish legislation represents the culmination of efforts on the part of the national government and health authorities, dating back several decades, to reduce tobacco consumption. Successive legislation and regulations from the 1970s onwards prohibited tobacco advertising on radio and TV, and limited advertising in the print media. Taxes on tobacco products were maintained among the highest in Europe and discount selling was prohibited. Furthermore, spending on advertising and promotion by tobacco companies was strictly regulated....


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