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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 560 - Tobacco control measures [17447/14] [Plain packaging]..

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 560 - Tobacco control measures [17447/14] [Plain packaging].. (15 Apr 2014)

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560. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health his views on concerns expressed by US business organisations that standardised packaging could impact on US investment here (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17447/14]  

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): As the Deputy will be aware, I received Government approval on 19th November 2013 to proceed with drafting the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Bill 2013. Standardised packaging, also known as plain or generic packaging, means that all forms of branding – trademarks, logos, colours and graphics – would be removed from retail tobacco packaging, except for the brand and variant names, which would be presented in a uniform typeface for all brands on the market. All packs would be in a plain neutral colour, except for the mandatory health warnings and the tax stamp. The objective is to make all tobacco packs look less attractive to consumers and to make health warnings more prominent. I assume that the Deputy’s question is in relation to the assertion, referred to in the article, that standardised packaging for tobacco products may affect intellectual property (IP) rights. I must assure the Deputy that Ireland has a robust legal framework in place to protect IP, a fact that is well recognised globally. This Government continues to focus on ensuring that Ireland’s intellectual property regime compares favourably with best international practice. In particular, actions arising from the Action Plan for Jobs target enhancements to Ireland’s IP regime to ensure that the regime allows for innovation which in turn contributes to job creation. The intention is to further reinforce Ireland’s reputation as a country where strong IP rights play a crucial role and strengthen Ireland’s already established reputation as a good place in which to do business.

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