Skip Page Header

Home > Dail Eireann debate. Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2016: second stage (resumed) (continued).

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2016: second stage (resumed) (continued). (05 Oct 2016)


As Minister of State with responsibility for health promotion, I am particularly interested in the provisions of the Bill which seek to amend the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Act 2015. Evidence indicates that tobacco packaging is a critical form of promotion. This is more relevant in Ireland where we have comprehensive advertising and marketing restrictions. We know that branding works, especially on children. If the tobacco sector did not get our children addicted, its industry would disappear within a generation. Given that 78% of smokers in a survey stated that they started smoking when they were under the age of 18, it is clear that our children are targeted to replace those customers who die or quit. It is critical, therefore, to reduce the appeal of tobacco products to consumers and increase the impact of health warnings. Standardised packaging of tobacco achieves this, as one of the measures and recommendations in our policy document, Tobacco Free Ireland. The policy includes education, media campaigns, pricing etc. In fact, in 2010, 12% of those aged 10 to 17 years smoked, whereas 8% did in 2014, which I think the House will agree is a significant reduction. We have the potential to see quite soon a generation who will never smoke.


In relation to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TTIP, agreement, which I may not be concluded for some time yet, the Department of Health has indicated that the agreement should not undermine existing public health measures. We will work to ensure any agreement will not prevent or deter Ireland from introducing new public health measures, for example, measures aimed at reducing tobacco or alcohol consumption. I thank the Deputies for their support for this public health measure. The amendments set out in the Bill will enable Ireland to proceed with the introduction of standardised packaging of tobacco products.

Item Type
Dail Debates
Publication Type
Drug Type
Tobacco / Nicotine
Intervention Type
Prevention, Harm reduction, Policy
5 October 2016
Related URLs

Repository Staff Only: item control page