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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 418 - Tobacco control measures [47769/14].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 418 - Tobacco control measures [47769/14]. (16 Dec 2014)

418 Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health his views on concerns that retailers will suffer from a reduction in turnover because of business lost due to the introduction of plain packaging of tobacco products; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47769/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy Leo Varadkar): As the Deputy will be aware, Tobacco Free Ireland, Ireland’s policy on smoking, sets a target for Ireland to be tobacco free by 2025. In practice, this will mean a smoking prevalence rate of less than 5%. The two key themes underpinning the report are protecting children and the denormalisation of smoking. The introduction of standardised packaging of tobacco is just one of over sixty recommendations made in the policy.

In December 2012, Australia became the first country in the world to introduce standardised or plain packaging of tobacco products. Research has shown that a year after standardised packaging was introduced in Australia, there was no evidence of any decrease in customers purchasing tobacco products from small retail outlets, no flooding of the market by cheap brands and no increase in the use of illicit tobacco as predicted by opponents to standardised packaging.  

I am confident that the introduction of standardised packaging in Ireland will assist in reducing the numbers of people smoking in this country, and in particular act as a deterrent for young people from starting to smoke.

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