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Plain Packaging legislation will not go up in smoke – Burke

2nd August 2014 - Fine Gael Press Office

Fine Gael Cork North Central Senator, Colm Burke, has today (Tuesday) stated that the Government is determined to proceed with the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Bill 2014. He was speaking after it emerged that German politicians and lobby groups had been exerting pressure on the Irish Government to deter them from introducing plain packaging on cigarettes, as they feared it would damage the Irish economic recovery in some way.

“The Government will undoubtedly proceed with the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Bill 2014; it has already gone through the Second Stage in the Seanad. Ireland will be the first country in the European Union to introduce plain packaging on cigarettes.

“Ireland will be just the third country worldwide to implement plain packaging laws, following in the footsteps of Australia and New Zealand. Recent figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that tobacco sales are at their lowest in history at $3.405 billion. It was also reported that the Commonwealth Treasury’s tobacco clearances fell by 3.4 per cent in 2013 relative to 2012. This proves that plain packaging does work.

“Tobacco smoking is the greatest single cause of preventable illness and premature death in Ireland, killing over 5,200 people a year. It has been estimated that approximately €500 million of health expenditure in Ireland is directly due to smoking related diseases. Smoking in Ireland is an issue that we need to tackle and I am confident that this legislation will be effective in reducing the number of people smoking in this country.”  

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