Home > Dail Eireann debate. Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2016: Report and Final Stages (continued).

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2016: Report and Final Stages (continued). (07 Dec 2016)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/debate/dail/2...

Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy: …..As indicated on Committee Stage, I proposed to bring an amendment forward today to the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill. This amendment is to Part 5 of the Bill and proposes to insert a new section 12. The amendment seeks to amend section 6 of the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Act 2015. The section deals with transitional provisions. New transitional times are now required given the significant period of time which has elapsed since the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill was initiated in January 2016. The original timeframe for the manufacture of the new standardised packaging from 20 May 2016 has now passed. I assure Deputies that while this means that the introduction of standardised packaging has been delayed somewhat the Minister, Deputy Harris, and I remain committed to ensuring that this important public health measure is introduced as soon as is practical.


The amendment proposes the insertion of new subsections (3) and (4) into section 6 of the Act of 2015. Section 6(3) states that specified provisions in the 2015 Act shall not apply to the sale of tobacco products which were manufactured before the date of commencement of that specified provision. Such products are permitted to be on sale for a 12-month period. Section 6(4) lists the relevant provisions of the Act of 2015.


The specified provisions mentioned in the amendment are the requirements of standardised packaging. The ban on the use of logos and trademarks, the use of a prescribed colour and the requirements for the appearance of cigarettes are some examples of the requirements. What the amendment means in practice is that once the specified provisions are commenced, all tobacco products manufactured from that commencement date must comply with the standardised packaging requirements. This date will be set taking into consideration the time it takes for the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill to complete it legislative journey and the notification of the technical requirements to industry for preparation. Tobacco products manufactured before that commencement date will be permitted to be sold for a period of 12 months. That is in line with the 12-month wash-through period set out in the original Act. I commend the amendment to the House.


Deputy Billy Kelleher: I do not know whether the Minister of State's attention has been brought to the starter packs that are now on sale, which include some cigarettes and loose tobacco for a person to roll his or her own cigarettes. They are packaged in a typical cigarette pack. I will furnish the details to the Minister of State, although I accept it is a bit late to address the issue in the context of the Bill. However, it is something that must be addressed. We have talked about becoming a tobacco-free society in the near future and I am very supportive of all the measures being introduced but there are still areas that remain to be addressed. This is a nefarious, insidious industry at the best of times and it targets cohorts of young people in particular in order to get them addicted to tobacco. While the starter packs to which I referred will not come under the remit of this legislation it is something of which the Minister of State should be aware and if amending legislation is required then the Minister might look at that in a positive light.


Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy: I thank Deputy Kelleher for bringing the matter to my attention. It is certainly not something of which I was aware and it warrants further consideration because we are very serious about continuing the work towards having a tobacco-free society by 2025.

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