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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.

ASH Ireland welcomes Axa decision to ditch tobacco

 

ASH Ireland welcomes the decision by Axa Insurance to dispose of its tobacco industry shares and cease investing in the industry.  This is an important signal for all those involved in the fight against tobacco and also for those who continue to manufacture and market a product that is known to contribute to the death of 1 in 2 of its users.

Interestingly AXA has affirmed in its statement, released today, something that the health sector have been emphasising for decades – “The human cost of tobacco is tragic; its economic cost is huge”

Tragically close to 6000 Irish people lose their lives each year due to the harmful effects of smoking and further thousands are continually endeavoring to cope with tobacco related disease.

It is imperative that our Government continues its efforts to reduce smoking prevalence and in this should have the support of all sectors of society. The drive for profit should never be allowed to take priority over the health of our citizens.

*Media queries to: Wally Young, Young Communications 087-2471520

ASH Ireland –   0818 305055

International Callers:  00 353 818 305055

ASH Ireland warns against undermining the Workplace Smoking Legislation

ASH Ireland would be deeply concerned that any consideration might be given to undermining the Workplace Smoking Legislation.
Dr Patrick Doorley, Chairman of ASH Ireland said this morning, “This is one of the most progressive and successful pieces of health legislation introduced in recent years, and has been replicated by countries all around the world. This pro health legislation has shown the Irish Government as international leaders in the fight against tobacco and nicotine addiction.”Since the introduction of the workplace-smoking ban, prevalence in Ireland has been reduced by close to 10% to 19.5%. This is a remarkable development, which will save lives and massively reduced smoking related illness.  It will also contribute to the reduction of the close to €1bn spend on tobacco related illness annually.This legislation was introduced to protect workers from environmental tobacco smoke, an established carcinogen.

The public support for this legislation has always been over 90% and interestingly over 70% of smokers support this legislation.

The introduction of a ban on smoking in our pubs and restaurants has for the first time in decades allowed people with respiratory diseases, including asthma to socialise in public areas – surely we would never contemplate reversing this.

ASH Ireland would expect that the present Government will now proceed with the introduction of standardized packaging and look for every possible measure to save lives and reduce illness from tobacco related disease.

For media enquiries contact ASH Ireland at 0818 305055. International Callers:  00 353 818 305055

Or contact: Wally Young, Young Communications 087-2471520

 

ASH IRELAND WELCOMES EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE DECISION AGAINST BIG TOBACCO

ASH Ireland welcomes the decision by the European Court of Justice today (Wednesday, May 4), to reject all three challenges brought forward by the tobacco industry against the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).

The charges posed by Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco seeking to invalidate TPD as a whole, or various provisions of the Directive, were rejected along with the Polish state’s challenges on the ban on menthol flavours in cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco.

A third challenge brought by an electronic cigarette maker regarding the Directive’s provisions on e-cigarettes was also rejected by the Court.

Dr Patrick Doorley, Chairman ASH Ireland said: “The decision to reject all three challenges by the tobacco industry by the European Court of Justice is to be welcomed.
“It is vitally important that the tobacco industry does not unduly influence legislation, and it is also very significant that this decision by the European Court of Justice means that the legal challenge cannot be taken any further and the TPD will take effect on May 20, as originally intended,” added Dr. Doorley.

Dr Doorley concluded, “Close to 6,000 Irish people die from the effects of tobacco related disease each year – with close to 600,000 dying within the EU for the same reason. These are dreadful statistics and the EU with the support of national governments must do everything possible at European level to fight the scourge of nicotine addiction and the multiplicity of health related issues.”

For media enquiries contact ASH Ireland at 0818 305055. International Callers:  00 353 818 305055

Or contact: Wally Young, Young Communications 087-2471520

For further information please refer to the European Court of Justice press
release:
http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2016-05/cp160048en.pdf

Read more here:
http://www.euronews.com/business-newswires/3188945-eus-highest-court-upholds-new-restrictive-law-on-cigarettes/