ASH Ireland welcomes the passage of standardised packaging legislation through the Oireachtas

ASH Ireland today welcomed the passage of the standardised packaging legislation through the Oireachtas.  This is vitally important health legislation and we wish to compliment Minister James Reilly and all members of the Oireachtas who dealt with this important legislation with such efficiency and determination.  It is expected that the Bill will be signed into law later this month.

Dr Ross Morgan said today, “The Government and Oireachtas members are to be complimented on their determination in pushing ahead with this standardised packaging legislation, despite the threats from the Tobacco Industry.  We would also expect that should the industry mount a legal challenge on any aspect of this health legislation it will be vigorously contested.  Similar legislation has proven to be entirely positive in Australia with early indications of reduced smoking prevalence and scientific evidence to show that young people find standardised pack less attractive.” 

ASH Ireland is firmly of the view that the successful implementation of this legislation here in Ireland will set the scene for others to follow in Europe as was the case with the workplace smoking legislation some 11 years ago. 

All of us must recognise that over 5,200 people die from the effects of smoking in this country each year and we spend well over €1 billion annually treating tobacco relating disease.  Theas are dreadful statistics which we must tackle with every means at our disposal and legislative change is a key part of this.

Dr Morgan concluded by saying, “in recent weeks it emerged that some legal companies were advising the tobacco industry and various elements of our health services. This is an apparent conflict of interest which must be examined further and it seems clear that the status quo in this area is entirely unsatisfactory”

ENDS

For contact: ASH Ireland:  0818-305055

Wally Young, Young Communications:  087-2471520

ASH Ireland welcomes the launch of a Bill in the Oireachtas today, by Senators John Crown and Averil Power, which will hopefully lead to the regulation of electronic cigarettes

Like most health focussed organisations, ASH Ireland has been keeping the issue of e-cigarettes constantly under review. Despite an initial hope that these products could be of assistance in regard to cessation, we are now forming a view that this product, which is being marketed forcefully by the Tobacco Industry, may become another addictive product with few benefits and little impact on smoking cessation possibilities. We have noted and responded to the Irish health authorities (HSE) decision to ban e-cigarettes in all its facilities. We have also noted that in some jurisdictions e-cigarettes are being banned, and in other countries such as Ireland, authorities are struggling with the appropriate response. The lack of regulation in regard to manufacture, content levels and marketing is an on-going concern. E-cigarettes, despite their current presentation as an attractive item on the one hand, and less harmful than tobacco on the other, carry nicotine which is highly addictive and can be dangerous if not consumed in appropriate and recommended doses. Some recent publicity is actually highlighting the poisonous qualities of nicotine in the e-cigarette environment.

The lack of definite research in regard to benefits or cessation possibilities in regard to the use of e-cigarettes is an on-going concern, as some years ago there were expectations that such outcomes could have been possible.

As the Tobacco Industry has invested heavily in this product; it will be more difficult to see any agenda other than profit being pursued by the manufacturers.

ASH Ireland will continue to keep the e-cigarette environment under review and we will continue to communicate with the Irish Government in regard to the publication of guidelines and regulation on this product.

Tight regulations on e-cigarettes proposed by senators is most welcome.

 ENDS 

For contact: ASH Ireland:  0818-305055

Wally Young, Young Communications:  087-2471520