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Branding to be banned on cigarette boxes –

Electronic cigarette reviews – helping you choose the best electronic cigarette brand available

The Cabinet has given the go ahead to the measure, which is aimed at reducing the appeal of colourful packets to young people in particular.

However, although the reaction was positive from public health doctors and anti smoking groups, tobacco companies and newsagents warned that the measure would only increase smuggling.

The minister, who has been known to enjoy a cigar in the past, insisted that he would not be deterred and said cracking down on smuggling was a matter for strict law enforcement.

Dr Reilly said he was confident that the legislation would be enacted early next year.

Ireland will become only the second country in the world to introduce the unbranded boxes, which will display graphic warning images. It is following Australia, the first country to enact such tough laws.

Dr Reilly said that as a GP he had seen the way smoking wrecked the health of some patients. He recalled seeing a man with an oxygen tank sneaking out of hospital to light up.

The new measure is aimed at stopping cigarette companies from using marketing tactics such as packet size, colour and style to attract young smokers.

Cigarette boxes will be a generic size and colour and will only feature the brand name on the bottom, accompanied by a picture showing the harmful effects of cigarettes.

Dr Reilly said “I lost a brother who was a doctor, who understood fully what the cigarettes did, who was so addicted he couldn’t give them up. And my father was prematurely blind because of a stroke and spent the last 14 years of his life without being able to see.”

Ireland was the first country to stop smoking in bars and restaurants with a workplace smoking ban in 2004. This was followed by an end to the sale of packs of 10 in 2007, a ban on retail displays and adverts in 2009 and the inclusion this year of visual warnings on packets.

“One in two of all smokers will die from their addiction. To replace the smokers who quit, the tobacco industry needs to recruit 50 new smokers in Ireland every day just to maintain smoking rates at their current level,” said Dr Reilly.

“Given that 78pc of smokers in a survey said they started smoking under the age of 18, it’s clear the tobacco industry focuses on children to replace those customers who die or quit.”


The Irish Cancer Society and the Irish Heart Foundation welcomed the announcement, which was criticised by retailers and tobacco firms.

John Freda, of JTI Ireland (Japan Tobacco International), claimed “There is a complete absence of credible evidence to demonstrate that plain packaging will lead to a reduction in youth smoking.”

Andrew Meagher, managing director of John Player, said “This decision plays into the hands of the criminal gangs who profit from counterfeit tobacco. Their job will be significantly easier now that all tobacco products are intended to be sold in the same generic packaging.”

But Dr Ross Morgan, chairman of anti smoking lobby Ash Ireland, said plain packets were needed to compete with the tactics of tobacco companies.

Irish Independent