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Ireland government backs plain packaging

Ireland plans to become the second country after Australia to mandate plain packaging for tobacco products

following Cabinet approval 28 May of a Health Department proposal, the ministry said.

 

“While many arguments will be made against such an introduction, I am confident that this legislation will be justified and supported purely by the fact that it will save lives,” Health Minister James Reilly said in a statement.

Reilly said standardised packaging will help thwart efforts by tobacco companies that he said need to recruit 50 young smokers a day in Ireland to offset the attrition rate. “It's clear that the tobacco industry focuses on children to replace those customers who die or quit,” he said.

Legislation will be prepared this year for introduction in 2014, according to a report in the Irish Times.

Plain packaging as practised in Australia removes branding from tobacco packaging by banning logos and limiting typeface allowed on uniform drab packaging mostly covered with graphic warnings. (29 May 2013)