Statement from Dr Patrick Doorley, Chairman, ASH Ireland on Plain Packaging
March 29, 2017.
ASH Ireland today welcomed the news that the Irish Government has finally signed the Commencement Order for the remaining provisions of the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Act 2015.
In celebrating today’s announcement ASH Ireland Chairman, Dr Patrick Doorley, drew attention to the fact that Ireland has lost some time with the full roll-out of the plain packaging legislation, but emphasised the positive development that this last step in introducing plain packaging represents.
“The introduction of standardised packaging will remove the last major element of tobacco advertising in this country,” said Dr Doorley. It is beyond doubt that plain packaging reduces the attractiveness of the pack itself, which is a factor in discouraging young people from experimenting with tobacco products.
“For example, the introduction of standardised packaging in Australia has been hugely positive at every level, including the reduction of smoking prevalence among adults and children. In the two years following the introduction of plain packaging, smoking rates fell to an historic low of 12.8%. This is down from 15.1% two years before its introduction,” said Dr Doorley.
Dr Doorley also expressed his hope that plain packaging might come into effect ahead of the September 30, 2018 deadline.
“Even though the hard deadline for the removal of branded packs from the market is September 2018, we have seen in Australia and Britain that the tobacco industry doesn’t actually need the 12 month wash-out period to introduce plain packaging, and perhaps it will be introduced in Ireland before the 12 months are up,” Dr Doorley added.
ASH Ireland is delighted to welcome Walter (Wally) Young as the newest member of our Board of Directors.
ASH Ireland continually seeks people at board level who have the motivation and expertise to continue the fight against tobacco – and Wally’s reputation and vast experience from over 20 years as ASH Ireland’s council is well established.
Wally brings a wealth of experience from a long and distinguished career specialising in crisis media planning and execution.
He is a former head of Defence Forces Media Relations, retiring in 1996 to establish Young Communications. He was engaged as Communications Adviser to ASH Ireland for 20 years up to 2017.
Some of his career highlights include working as Media Adviser (part time) to President Michael D. Higgins, having held a similar appointment with President Mary McAleese, whom he advised in the 1997 election campaign.
ASH Ireland is currently involved in a number of projects which can further reduce the impact of smoking and nicotine addiction on Irish society, and we will greatly benefit from Wally’s enthusiasm, knowledge and vast experience.
- Dr Patrick Doorley, Chairman, ASH Ireland