Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answers 376 & 377 - Tobacco control measures. [6906/15 & 6907/15].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answers 376 & 377 - Tobacco control measures. [6906/15 & 6907/15]. (17 Feb 2015)

URL: http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/Debates%20A...


376. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the possibility of legal challenges being taken against the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Bill 2014, if enacted; if his attention has been further drawn to the fact that ten Member States of the European Union raised significant legal concerns in relation to the Bill through the European Union notification procedure; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that similar Australian legislation is currently being challenged before the World Trade

 

Organisation; if his further attention has been drawn to the fact that a case against the standardised packaging provisions of the European Union Tobacco Products Directive is currently before the Court of Justice of the European Union; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that similar legislation in the United Kingdom, which is expected to be enacted in March 2015, will face legal challenges; if, in view of these existing and expected legal challenges, he will take a prudent course of awaiting their outcome, before introducing similar legislation here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [6906/15]

 

377. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health if his Department has set aside funds to defend any future legal challenges in relation to the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Bill 2014; if his Department or any other Government agency has made any estimate of the likely costs involved with defending such a case; if his Department or any other Government agency has made any estimate of the possible compensation that might be paid out in the event of a successful legal challenge against the legislation; if his attention has been drawn to his predecessor's comments that the tobacco industry could sue, for the equivalent of our gross domestic product (details supplied), if this Bill is enacted; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [6907/15]

 

Minister for Health (Deputy Leo Varadkar): I propose to take Questions Nos. 376 and 377 together. As the Deputy is aware, the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Bill 2014 has been passed by the Seanad and Second Stage of the Bill concluded in the Dáil on 2 October 2014. Committee Stage of the Bill is scheduled to take place on 17 February 2015.

 

I am of the view that standardised packaging for tobacco products is a proportionate, evidence-based public health measure which will assist, together with the other many initiatives outlined in Tobacco Free Ireland, in reducing the overall prevalence of smoking in Ireland. The introduction of standardised packaging has the support of the Government and has been considered and approved by Government.

 

The threat of litigation should not be an obstacle to the introduction of important public health measures.

Item Type:Dail Debates
Source:Oireachtas
Date:17 February 2015
EndNote:View
Subjects:B Substances > Tobacco (cigarette smoking) > Tobacco smoke (cigarette law / policy)
MP-MR Policy, planning, economics, work and social services > Substance industry or business
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland

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