ASH Ireland Chairman meets with Health Ministers

Dr Patrick Doorley, Chairman of ASH Ireland met with Minister for Health, Simon Harris and Minister of State Marcella Corcoran Kennedy at Government Buildings yesterday (Thursday) to discuss a range of tobacco related issues.

ASH Ireland looks forward to a productive working relationship with both Ministers into the future.

Below is the Press Release issued by the Department after the meeting:

Press Release issued by Department of Health, June 2, 2016

Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Minister of State for Health Promotion and Minister Simon Harris, Minister for Health, met with representatives of ASH Ireland today.

Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Minister of State for Health Promotion and Minister Simon Harris, Minister for Health, met with representatives of ASH Ireland today.

At the meeting, the Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to implementing Government Policy on tobacco, Tobacco Free Ireland.

“Given that approximately 5,870 people die annually from tobacco-related diseases in Ireland, we are committed to continuing to reduce the numbers of people smoking in Ireland,” said Minister Corcoran Kennedy.

“Ireland has been a world leader in relation to tobacco control as well as in our support for public educational campaigns such as the HSE’s influential QUIT Campaign. In place since June 2011, the QUIT campaign has prompted over 600,000 quit attempts and provided support to many thousands of quitters. This hugely successful campaign is complementary to the Government’s policy of a Tobacco Free Ireland by 2025, a policy I look forward to further implementing during my time as Minister of State for Health Promotion.”

ASH Ireland and the Ministers discussed a number of issues including the future introduction of standardised packaging for tobacco, the recent introduction of the Tobacco Products Directive in Ireland, advertising and awareness campaigns and the role of the increased price of tobacco in deterring people from smoking.

“I look forward to working closely with ASH Ireland and other NGOs in our national effort to move towards a tobacco free Ireland,” said Minister Corcoran Kennedy.

//ENDS

Plain Packaging a worldwide issue on World NO Tobacco Day 2016 (31st May)

Statement from ASH Ireland, 30th May 2016

Plain Packaging a worldwide issue on World NO Tobacco Day 2016 (31st May)

In recognition of World No Tobacco Day 2016 (31st May) the World Health Organisation (W.H.O.) has asked countries all around the world to focus on the introduction of plain packaging of tobacco.

Dr Patrick Doorley, Chairman of ASH Ireland said today: “We strongly urge the Government to prioritise the roll-out of this legislation in Ireland. The relevant Bill has been published and the legislation was due to come into effect on the 20th of May. This delay causes some concern as the tobacco industry had made its intentions clear – it will do everything possible to thwart this health legislation”

Dr Doorley continued:  “A significant body of evidence, primarily from Australia, now totally justifies and supports the introduction of plain packaging. A review published in Australia in early March found that the implementation of plain packaging legislation ‘has begun to achieve its public health objectives of reducing smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke in Australia, and it is expected to continue to do so into the future’. This comprehensive study was based pre-implementation experimental studies, post-implementation behavioural studies and the recent declines in smoking prevalence and consumption in Australia.”

The main aims of plain packaging legislation are to:

- Reduce the attractiveness of tobacco products;
- Eliminate the effects of tobacco packaging as a form of advertising and
promotion;
- address package design techniques, which may suggest that some products are
less harmful than others;
-       Increase the noticeability and effectiveness of health warnings.

Dr Doorley continued: “It is well established that the tobacco industry spend billions of euro annually on sponsorship, advertising and promotion of its lethal product – and pack design is central to the success of this massive drive to market and sell a product that kills 1 in 2 of its users. Plain packaging legislation combined with other measures will reduce prevalence and save lives. Close to 6,000 of our citizens die each year from smoking related disease and we must continue to everything possible to reduce this dreadful statistic.”

For media queries contact: ASH Ireland  – 0818 – 305055
Young Communications  – 087 2471520

(Interviews: Dr Patrick Doorley is available for interview)

Note to Editors 1:

The Member States of the World Health Organization created World No Tobacco Day in 1987 to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes. In 1987, the World Health Assembly passed Resolution WHA40.38, calling for 7 April 1988 to be a “a world no-smoking day.” In 1988, Resolution WHA42.19 was passed, calling for the celebration of World No Tobacco Day, every year on 31 May.
•       2016 – Get ready for plain packaging
•       2015 – Stop illicit trade of tobacco products
•       2014 – Raise taxes on tobacco
•       2013 – Ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship
•       2012 – Tobacco industry interference
•       2011 – The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
•       2010 – Gender and tobacco with an emphasis on marketing to women
•       2009 – Tobacco health warnings
•       2008 – Tobacco-free youth
•       2007 – Smoke free inside
•       2006 – Tobacco: deadly in any form or disguise
•       2005 – Health professionals against tobacco
•       2004 – Tobacco and poverty, a vicious circle
•       2003 – Tobacco free film, tobacco free fashion
•       2002 – Tobacco free sports
•       2001 – Second-hand smoke kills
•       2000 – Tobacco kills, don’t be duped
•       1999 Leave the pack behind
•       1998 Growing up without tobacco
•       1997 United for a tobacco free world
•       1996 Sport and art without tobacco: play it tobacco free
•       1995 Tobacco costs more than you think
•       1994 Media and tobacco: get the message across
•       1993 Health services: our windows to a tobacco free world
•       1992 Tobacco free workplaces: safer and healthier
•       1991 Public places and transport: better be tobacco free
•       1990 Childhood and youth without tobacco: growing up without tobacco
•       1989 Women and tobacco: the female smoker: at added risk
•       1988 Tobacco or Health: choose health

Note to Editors 2
Specifically what the Oireachtas/Government must do as a matter of urgency:
Apply Part 5 of the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2016 and amend the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Act 2015.