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Home > Joint Committee on Health and Children debate. Quarterly update on health issues: Minister for Health (continued).

[Oireachtas] Joint Committee on Health and Children debate. Quarterly update on health issues: Minister for Health (continued). (03 Apr 2014)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/joint_...


Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly)
……I have mentioned the importance of health and well-being and, in particular, tobacco control. We are ten years on from the implementation of the workplace smoking ban, which research has found has resulted in over 3,700 fewer smoking-related deaths. This is indisputable evidence that tobacco control measures are saving lives and improving our overall health as a nation. The measures which have been put in place have worked. There has been a decline of 7.5% in the number of Irish adults smoking since the last large-scale study in 2007. Our work will continue. We are aiming for a smoking prevalence rate of less than 5% by 2025. We propose to introduce a tobacco licensing Bill to provide for a licensing system and other measures in relation to the sale of tobacco products. I was very pleased that we received approval from Government last November to proceed with a public health (standardised packaging of tobacco) Bill. I thank the committee again for its valuable contribution in that area and in advance for the assistance it will provide to me and my officials in introducing the legislation. We will not be complacent, however. We cannot afford to be in any sense. We are saving money but, more importantly, we are saving lives. We know we face the mother of all battles with the tobacco industry, which has enormous resources at its disposal. We will not be intimidated by any external entity when it comes to public health issues and, in particular, the well-being of our children……

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