Ash Ireland welcomes positive news from Australia on plain packaging

ASH Ireland welcomes positive news from Australia on the impact of plain packaging of tobacco products.

Australia introduced plain packaging on all packs of cigarettes in 2012.  The report in the BMJ finds that plain packaging “is associated with lower smoking appeal, more support for the policy (of plain packaging) and more urgency to quit among adult smokers”.  The smokers also felt that cigarettes from plain packs were of a lower quality than from packs which were branded.  The survey also found that smokers were more likely to have thought about quitting at least once a day and to rate quitting as a higher priority in their lives when using plain packaging.  The survey was based on a group of 536 smokers of whom 72% were smoking from a plain pack and 27% were smoking from a branded pack.

Dr Ross Morgan, Chairman of ASH Ireland said today, “The positive findings contained in the study, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) on 22nd July, on the impact on plain packaging on smokers in Australia is to be welcomed. This is an important and timely input to a debate, which takes the vital importance of health measures for society and the protection of profits by the Tobacco Industry into the same arena”.

Dr Morgan went on to say “This is the most effective and valid study available to us on the actual impact of plain packaging on smokers.  It will be of immense assistance in clarifying the on-going efforts of the Tobacco Industry in blocking the introduction of plain packaging in jurisdictions which are now planning to follow the Australian model.   Minister Reilly is to be complimented on his on-going efforts to denormalise smoking and reduce smoking prevalence in this country”.

ENDS

For contact: ASH Ireland:  0818-305055

Wally Young, Young Communications:  087-2471520 

ASH Ireland welcomes the European Parliament’s ENVI Committee’s adoption of the Tobacco Products Directive

ASH Ireland welcomes the decision of the European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee’s decision to adopt the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).

The main measures adopted were:

The inclusion of Mandatory pictorial warnings covering 75% of front and back of cigarette packs;

A ban on slim cigarettes;

A ban on flavours and restriction on additives in tobacco;

The reinforcing of the anti-smuggling and anti-illicit trade measures throughout the EU.

Dr Ross Morgan said “I want to compliment the Environmental, Public Health and Safety Committee in the European Parliament on taking this important health initiative to the next stage.  This Tobacco Products Directive, if enacted, can potentially be one of the most important health initiatives taken in Europe this decade.  I now expect that the European Parliament will proceed with this initiative in September and that the on-going and sustained efforts by the Tobacco Industry to block and circumvent it will be prevented at every level.  It is also important to note that this Tobacco Products Directive freely allows individual countries to take additional anti-tobacco measures and  Minister James Reilly has already set the tone in this regard with his proposal to introduce plain packaging on all tobacco products on sale in Ireland.”

ENDS

For contact:  Wally Young, Young Communications:  087-2471520

ASH Ireland:  0818-305055