ASH Ireland urges the Irish Government to uphold its right to introduce progressive health legislation, 31st May 2015



On World No Tobacco Day 2015, it is vitally important that all of us bear in mind that since World No Tobacco Day in 2014, 5,200 people have died from tobacco related disease in Ireland and close to €2 billion has been spent on treating tobacco related disease within our health service.  Regrettably in the past year, 500,000 people have died from the effects of smoking within the EU and 6 million people have died worldwide.

Dr Ross Morgan said today, “What is particularly galling is that despite the massive loss of life and the massive health costs associated with smoking, the Irish Tobacco Industry is doing everything possible to block the Irish Government in introducing progressive health legislation.  The decision of the Tobacco Industry, as they had previously done in Australia, to drag the Irish Government before the courts as it rightly proposes to introduce standardised packaging of tobacco, is bitterly disappointing.  It is very clear to all of us in the health service and so many others that the Tobacco Industry has a single focus and that focus is profit and nothing else matters”

Dr Morgan went on to say “There is massive support for the Irish Government’s plan to introduce standardised packaging and that support will continue in the inevitable battle with the Tobacco Industry, which is now emerging in the Irish courts.  The introduction of similar legislation in Australia has proven to be 100% successful, with reduced smoking prevalence, young people generally finding the packs less attractive, no increase in tobacco smuggling, and much less opportunity for the Tobacco Industry to market its killer products to young people.”

Dr Morgan concluded by saying, “In the ASH Ireland presentation to the Joint Oireachtas Committee in 2014, which sat before the introduction of the standardised packaging legislation, I pointed out that tobacco is a unique product, in that it kills 50% of its users and no state or government should be forced into treating tobacco as a normal consumer product.  There is a myriad of established research to show the direct opposite.  I urge the Irish Government to take on the Tobacco Industry and ensure that its right to introduce progressive health legislation is not overturned by a vested interest, which has no regard for the health of the nation and is solely focussed on its profits, irrespective of the consequences.”



For contact: ASH Ireland:  0818-305055

Wally Young, Young Communications:  087-2471520