Reilly welcomes sharp decrease in smokers

20th November 2019 - Senator James Reilly

Fine Gael bye-election candidate, Senator James Reilly, has warmly welcomed the sharp decrease in the number of smokers in Ireland.

 

Senator Reilly, a medical doctor, said: “Today’s Healthy Ireland Survey shows 17% of the population are smokers, down from 23% in 2015, a decrease of an estimated 165,000 smokers.

 

“This is very welcome progress and shows we are finally winning the battle against the tobacco companies.

 

“However, we still have a lot of work to do in this area, and we must prioritise measures to protect younger people and stop them taking up smoking in the first place.”

 

The former health minister, who introduced plain packaging on tobacco products in Ireland, said: “I firmly believe it should be illegal to add flavours to vapes.

 

“Vaping is increasingly being cited as a gateway to smoking for younger people, especially teenagers.

 

“While the science is still evolving, it is clear to me that we should not be making vaping an attractive prospect, particularly for children and young people.

 

“Ireland is set to ban menthol cigarettes next year and it makes sense that flavoured vapes would also be banned for the very same reason.”

 

ENDS

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