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Home > HSE publishes details of convictions for tobacco related offences.

[Health Service Executive] HSE publishes details of convictions for tobacco related offences. (04 Jun 2014)

The HSE has for the first time published summary details of convictions for tobacco-related offences on the HSE website. The HSE's Environmental Health Service enforces a range of legislative and regulatory measures, including provisions of the Public Health (Tobacco) Act governing smoking in the workplace and sales of tobacco to minors. Eleven convictions took place in the first three months of 2014, three of which related to sales to minors and eight to smoking in the workplace.

HSE Environmental Health Tobacco Lead, Dave Molloy, said today that: “In general, compliance with the Public Health (Tobacco) Act has been high. H owever, today’s publication highlights that significant problems still remain in relation to smoking in the work place, (section 47 of the Act) particularly in relation to licenced premises and non-compliant smoking shelters, and also in relation to sales of tobacco products to minors under the age of 18 (section 45 of the Act).”

The publication of today’s report comes as a result of the Health Service Executive’s Tobacco Control Framework implementation, which recommended that details of those convicted for offences under tobacco control legislation would be made public.

Details of convictions and prosecutions under the Public Health (Tobacco) Act are being published to raise awareness of the law; to highlight good practice and demonstrate to those who comply with the law that action is being taken against those who fail or refuse to comply; and to encourage the public and businesses to report non-compliance to our Compliance Line, on Lo-Call 1890 333 100.

From the time of the commencement of Section 47 in 2004, until the end of 2013, a total of 251 prosecutions have been taken by the HSE resulting in 263 convictions. These prosecutions and convictions were mainly in respect of licensed premises including pubs, night-clubs and hotels. In recent years more than 50% of prosecutions have related to smoking areas in licensed premises. A number of owners and proprietors have been prosecuted and convicted on multiple occasions.

In relation to the sale of tobacco to minors, the HSE undertakes compliance checks, also known as test purchases, in retail outlets to determine if retailers will sell tobacco products to minors.

The HSE’s test purchase programme together with associated retail audits highlight a significant ongoing non-compliance issue. As a result there have been 43 prosecutions with 33 convictions between 2009 and 2013.

Dave Molloy concluded: “The HSE’s Environmental Health Service takes a compliance-building approach to our enforcement role, and where possible, we work with businesses so that non-compliance is often addressed without recourse to legal action. Prosecution is reserved for serious offences or where there has been deliberate and / or persistent non-compliance.”

Item Type
Publication Type
Drug Type
Tobacco / Nicotine
Intervention Type
Crime prevention, Policy
4 June 2014
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