Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Bill 2014: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages

I welcome former Councillor Frank Kilbride from Longford to the Visitors Gallery.

This is a Seanad Bill which has been amended by the Dáil. In accordance with Standing Order 118, it is deemed to have passed its First, Second and Third Stages in the Seanad and is placed on the Order Paper for Report Stage. On the question, "That the Bill be received for final consideration," the Minister may explain the purpose of the amendments made by the Dáil. This is looked upon as the report of the Dáil amendments to the Seanad. The only matters, therefore, which may be discussed are the amendments made by the Dáil. For Senators' convenience, I have arranged for the printing and circulation of the amendments. The Minister will deal with the subject matter of the amendments in the first group. I have also circulated the proposed grouping to the House. Senators may speak only once on the grouping. I remind them that the only matters that may be discussed are the amendments made by the Dáil.

Question proposed: "That the Bill be received for final consideration."

I ask the Minister to speak on the subject matter of the amendments in the first group.

The amendments I am bringing to the Seanad today relate to technical drafting issues. In Part 4 of the Bill there are references to the full Short Title of the proposed Act, namely, the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Act 2014. There is also a reference to the full Short Title of the Public Health (Tobacco) Act 2002. The full Short Titles are being amended to more appropriately refer to the Act of 2015 and the Act of 2002. These amendments are reflected in the amendments from amendment No. 2 through to amendment No. 14. To accommodate these amendments, a new definition is to be inserted by amendment No. 1. The definition of the Act of 2015 is being inserted in the 2002 Act definitions section.

I welcome the Minister back to the House. As all of us here know and as the Cathaoirleach said, this is a Seanad Bill. What disappointed me somewhat was that when the Minister introduced this Bill to the House and there was a long debate, it received very little media coverage at the time, although it got some. Perhaps that was because it was the summer, but I would like to think it has as much to do with the fact that, as often happens with Bills initiated in the Seanad, the media suddenly find out that there is a Bill six months later when it is introduced in the Dáil. I would make a plea to the media that they would do a little more research. In fact, in all of the coverage that has taken place in regard to this legislation and all of the amendments that are made in it, this was done out of context in that there was no context to much of the reporting, in particular in The Irish Times and the Irish Independent, which talked about the Bill as if was brand new.

I compliment the Minister on holding fast and being resolute against very stiff opposition from the tobacco industry. It affords me an opportunity to outline what these evil people are doing. Senator John Crown referred to them several times as the enemy and he is right: they are the enemy. This is about people's lives. The Minister is fully aware, as a practising medical doctor, of the impact smoking has had on patients.

I highlight the tactics being used by the tobacco industry which most recently, shamefacedly, attempted to intimidate the Minister and the Government by threatening legal action. This is nothing new.

A World Health Organization report states:

The tactics used by the tobacco industry to resist government regulation of its products include conducting public relations campaigns, buying scientific and other expertise to create controversy about established facts, funding political parties, hiring lobbyists to influence policy, using front groups and allied industries to oppose tobacco control measures, pre-empting strong legislation by pressing for the adoption of voluntary codes or weaker laws and corrupting public officials. Formerly secret internal tobacco industry documents provide evidence of a 50 year conspiracy to "resist smoking restrictions, restore smoker confidence and preserve product liability defence". The documents reveal industry-wide collusion on legal, political and socially important issues to the tobacco industry and clearly demonstrate that the industry is not disposed to act ethnically or responsibly.

Lobbying by the alcohol and tobacco industries, in particular, and other sectors is extensive.

I found the following gem of a quote from Mr. David Cameron prior to his becoming British Prime Minister, "We all know how it works, the lunches, the hospitality, the quiet word in your ear, the ex-Ministers and ex-advisers for hire, helping big business find the right way to get its way."

EU Council Directive 98/43/EC introduced in the early noughties by the then European Community sought to end all tobacco advertising and sponsorship in EU member states by 2006. Initially proposed in 1989, the directive was adapted in 1998 and was annulled by the European Court of Justice in 2000 following a protracted lobbying campaign against the directive by a number of interested organisations, including European tobacco companies. The tobacco industry lobbied against directive 98/43/EC at the level of member state governments, as well as on a pan-European level. The industry sought to prevent passage of the directive within the EU Legislature, to substitute industry-authored proposals in place of the original directive and, if necessary - this is relevant to what happened here in the past few weeks - to use litigation to prevent implementation of the directive after its passage. The tobacco industry sought to delay and eventually defeat the EU directive on tobacco advertising and sponsorship by seeking to enlist the aid of figures at the highest levels of European politics, while at times attempting to conceal the industry's role. An understanding of these proposed strategies can help European health advocates to pass and implement effective future tobacco control legislation. I am sure the Minister by now is very much aware of these strategies.

Tobacco Control is an online international peer review journal covering the nature and consequences of tobacco use worldwide, tobacco's effect on population, health, the economy, the environment and society, and efforts to prevent and control the global tobacco epidemic through population level education and policy changes, the ethical dimensions of tobacco control policies and the activities of the tobacco industry and its allies. Its conclusions, following quantitative text mining techniques, were as follows:

We observe that tobacco industry lobbying activity at the EU was associated with significant policy shifts in the EU tobacco productive legislation towards the tobacco industry submissions. In the light of the framework convention on tobacco control additional governance strategies are needed at European and at national levels to prevent undue influence of the tobacco industry on EU policy making.

In terms of its key findings in its investigations of lobbying it states:

The dominant approach used was to nurture and sustain long-term relationships with policy makers, within which subtle forms of influence were exercised. This reinforces and is reinforced by the industry narrative that they are key stakeholders in the policy process whose voices should be heard.

How many times have we heard, "we are key stakeholders; listen to us"? It continues:

Where these long term relationships fail to secure a favourable regulatory environment, however, industry actors will lobby key decision-makers forcefully on an issue by issue basis, including both Government Ministers and Opposition TDs. Where this proves unsuccessful they will pursue their interests through other means, including threatening and conducting legal challenges under national and international law. This underlines a highly pragmatic approach to policy influence in which long term relationships are favoured but where the partnership approach is abandoned if circumstances demand it.

I say all of this in order that people will know what it is we are dealing with. We are dealing with an industry that has absolutely no scruples or ethics when it comes to changes or proposed changes in the law. I do so also to reinforce the support on this side of the House for the Minister's initiative.

I applaud him once again for what he has been doing and hope to ensure this House will fully support the efforts he has brought forward. We hope it will be effective legislation. I have no doubt that if it results in the saving of even one life, that one life would make it worthwhile for the rest of us.

I came here this evening to simply salute the Minister and say this is a very important part of his legacy. He has demonstrated extraordinary determination and courage in taking on one of the wealthiest and most unscrupulous lobbies we have seen on this planet. I welcome the Bill but I also utterly condemn attempts by sections of the tobacco industry to challenge the right of this national Parliament to pass legislation. It is a monstrous and impertinent intrusion into the proper working of democracy and those people should be thoroughly ashamed. The legal representation aspect is tricky as some of the people involved have had interactions with the State of one kind or another and the advice has not always been terribly good or in the State's interest. The Minister will have to take the Attorney General's advice on this, as lawyers are simply guns for hire. That is the way the law works in our system and they have to be allowed ply for their trade.

I understand where the Minister is coming from in an emotional sense and he wants to have nothing to do with these blackguards who fight the unworthy fight of the tobacco industry. With regard to legal effect, the issue is where there is a conflict of interest in the operations of the firm representing the tobacco industry. For example, this may occur where there is a health implication in legislation or an issue with the administration of the law as passed by these Houses. I understand and completely sympathise with the Minister's wish to have nothing whatever to do with those firms that represent the tobacco industry but with the legal position, it may not be possible to realise that goal, except in those areas where there is a conflict of interest. The law is what it is, and it is a stranger to the feelings of Ministers and the public. These firms should be held up to public odium for acting in this way and the Minister may certainly do this even in circumstances where he cannot preclude them from working for the Government.

This is a good day for the people of Ireland and the Minister. This will be only the second country in the world to introduce this kind of legislation; therefore, I say "Well done" to the Minister. The tobacco companies should take note that there has not been a single dissenting voice in either House; this is a united Parliament on the issue. I am particularly glad that this was a Seanad Bill, referred to the Dáil, and we are hearing of the Dáil amendments today. I again say "Well done" to the Minister and the civil servants. We stand four-square behind them.

I welcome a former colleague to the Visitors Gallery, Ms Kathleen O'Meara.

I congratulate the Minister. I have no doubt he will go down in history in the State for bringing forward this legislation. It is true to say "Smoking kills", although these are two very strong words. I am so proud of the Minister's actions in this legislation. As Senator David Norris indicated, the Minister has had support across all parties in both Houses on the issue. The only negative that might be aired relating to the legislation is from some retailers.

However, deep down they know that what the Minister is doing is right.

The Government must deal with the illegal selling of tobacco and take that issue very seriously. My worry is that the sale of illegal cigarettes might increase. The Government must take serious action in that regard. However, I say "Well done" to the Minister for having the courage to do this. As we know what the tobacco industry is like and what it is capable of, we are all very proud of him.

I echo some of Senator Imelda Henry's remarks. The Minister deserves great credit for taking this cause on board. As we have heard repetitively, but correctly, Ireland has been a leader in this area, first through the legislation introduced by Deputy Micheál Martin and then through the various Bills brought forward by the Minister, Deputy James Reilly.

I am not even a little concerned about an increase in illegal sales. People who study this know that most of the product which is sold illegally is product that is manufactured legally. It is the companies' product, not some type of counterfeit, knock-off product. All of this craw-thumping, hypocritical breast beating we are hearing from the companies on the issue of smuggling does not resonate true. The reality is that they love smuggling-----

-----because the smuggled product is cheap and it is a cheaper way to hook children on cigarettes. They will do anything to make cheaper product available. When we see the internecine webs of convoluted and highly implausible sales routes that have been plotted by the major companies through tiny countries, where cigarettes are being imported in such numbers that it would suggest every citizen down to the lowliest newborn baby is smoking several packs a day, to justify the fact that they are being shunted on to other larger markets via illegal, illicit and smuggling routes, we realise that this is a spurious argument.

All of the arguments being advanced by the tobacco industry and its sympathisers are an attempt to row back the regulation of tobacco sales and consumption. The tobacco companies are in a battle. They realise that in our hearts our ambition for their industry is bankruptcy. We want them out of business.

We want them either to have the smarts and intelligence to take up an alternative line of business or to go out of business. If they are going to insist on working in businesses which have as their business plan the simple four words "addict children to carcinogens" we want them to fail. In no sense are they partners of ours. The Minister has been a noble exception but other members of the Government made a mistake in allowing representatives of that industry, through well-connected lobbyists, to come to Government Buildings and, in truth, to lobby on behalf of their product and its sales, when they alleged they were doing something entirely different.

I was born in the United States to Irish parents. We immigrated here, emigrated back to the United States and then immigrated back here again, perhaps not for the last time; therefore, as a quintessential Irish-American, it is a source of great pain to me that not only the US Chamber of Commerce but also individual, democratically elected American politicians have tried to influence our Government's attempts to legislate on behalf of its citizens. In a few weeks many of the Minister's colleagues in the Government will be attending receptions, functions, parties and parades across the United States. I wonder if it is too late to develop some type of little logo for St. Patrick's Day, with a shamrock and stubbed out cigarette or something similar, that all of them could wear.

The Taoiseach will go to Washington, which is just across the Potomac from Virginia where the former governor was lobbying against our attempts to protect our citizens before he lost his liberty some time ago. The Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Deputy Joan Burton, will be in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia; the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Deputy Charles Flanagan, will be in New York; the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Deputy Paschal Donohoe, will be in San Francisco; the Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach, Deputy Paul Kehoe, will be in Houston; the Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Deputy Michael Ring, will be in Phoenix, while the Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, Deputy Paudie Coffey, will be in St. Louis. Furthermore, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform will be in Japan, headquarters of Japan Tobacco International, one of the companies which attempted to influence our legislation. They should forthrightly use each of those occasions as an opportunity to tell the people in those locations that this is an unwelcome interference in our sovereign rights. This is not something people should fear politically. In all of these countries the majority of people are anti-smoking. Study after study shows that the majority are in favour of further reining in this industry.

The issue of legal representation is a thorny one. Everybody has the right to a lawyer but representation needs to be looked at. My own sense is that there would be considerable Government discretion shown in the choice of where legal contracts go. People have, historically, used all manner of considerations in deciding where such contracts would go and I am sure such consideration exists. I strongly urge the Government and its agencies or public bodies have nothing to do with any public relations company that works on behalf of the tobacco industry. That is very simple. My own sense is that the Government and its agencies should not have anything to do with public relations companies. Every public representative should be made to stand or fall on his or her own reputation. Every public or civil servant, above a certain grade, should be put on a rotation where once a month, or once every two months, they are the ones who answer questions from the press. We do not need to hire people to make public servants look good. We need such servants to communicate effectively what job they do.

I say "Well done" to the Minister. I urge him to ask his Cabinet colleagues not to lose the opportunity of speaking, especially in the United States on St. Patrick's Day, and to let people know what is happening. The average American would be horrified to know that the same chamber of commerce which supports American trade and jobs is trying to tell a small country it cannot legislate against tobacco. Let us imagine what would happen if we made cocaine in Ireland, if Irish cocaine was being sold in the States and if the Irish Government tried to stop the American Drug Enforcement Administration from bringing in Irish cocaine. Can Members imagine the outcry there would be if that happened? Can they imagine the level of outrage there would be if the Colombian, Venezuelan or Mexican Government tried to stop the United States from selling drugs which are probably less lethal than the drug which American companies sell in this country? There would be real outrage that would resonate with Americans, American politicians, American regulators, American ambassadors, the Irish-American community and with most of the American investment community. That is a message which needs to be given.

I welcome the Minister. As a smoker - I now do a bit of vaping and smoking - I support almost everything in the Bill. I applaud him for taking on big business. There are other big businesses, right across the divide, that Governments should challenge also. I agree with Senator Pashcal Mooney that even if one life is saved, the Minister will have achieved a lot.

I have one area of concern and that is the possible loss of jobs in the cigar manufacturing sector, particularly in the export of cigars to other European countries. When we import cigars manufactured in the likes of Germany, do they come into this country as plain packaged cigars? I am unclear about this. A cigar factory which employs 100 people is located in my town. If that company is unable to market its product in Europe then 100 jobs may be lost. Is there time to reconsider that specific area? Does the Bill afford those jobs any protection?

I am delighted to add my name and voice to the others in this House. I smoked my first cigarette when I was 12 years old. By the time I qualified to smoke properly I was able to smoke 100 cigarettes a day. In fact, there were times when I got up in the middle of the night to smoke a cigarette. The great legacy with which that habit has left me is three lesions from coronary artery disease in my heart and, therefore, I owe the tobacco industry nothing.

It might surprise the Minister to know that I have managed to give up cigarettes three times in my life. Once I managed to stay off them for 15 years, another time I stayed off them for two years and I am now off them since the year 2000. There is not a day of my life - when I walk into a shop and see the old brand that I used to smoke - that I do not think I will buy just one packet. There was something about having a cigarette in my hand and opening a packet that has never left me. I still see them. Thankfully, packets are now stored in a dispensing machine and I can no longer see great big packs of 20 cigarettes stacked up in front of me.

God, the Senator has me dying for a fag.

Thankfully, I can no longer see stacks of cigarettes.

One of the great things the Minister is about to introduce is plain packaging, because when the packaging goes, my desire to have that recognisable box in my hand may cease. It is 15 years since I held such a recognisable box. My desire to have that box in my hand may cease when the colour or whatever else is on the package that attracts me to it is gone. It is important that we send out a message that there is no place in this society for the cigarette industry and all the horrors it brings to us. There is not a family in the country that has not buried somebody as a result of cancer. We do not want the cancer that these companies bring to this island.

I commend the Minister for what he is doing. He is extremely brave and will go down in history like those before him who managed to ban cigarette smoking from our bars and restaurants. I congratulate and support the Minister 100%.

I add my words of congratulations and applause to the Minister for his courage and determination in bringing forward this very important legislation. It came as no surprise to us that the tobacco industry, which is a multi-billion euro industry, would use all its resources and tactics to try to stop the passage of this legislation. The Bill being passed, which was initiated in the Seanad, is a very significant initiative. As stated, Ireland is the second country to introduce this type of legislation. In years to come, the Minister will be judged on the significant positive impact this legislation will have on the health of the nation. I have no doubt that 4 March 2015 will be referred to as a very significant date in helping to improve the health of the nation.

At the start of the debate the Visitors Gallery was full of young, healthy students who had probably never smoked. How do we get the message across to those young people that they should not take that first cigarette and go down the road of smoking? We look to Ms Kathleen O'Meara in the Visitors Gallery and other organisations who have consistently highlighted the risks. Government resources should be put into highlighting the dangers and ill effects on health due to tobacco consumption. I look forward to the day when the country might be tobacco free, something to which Senator John Crown aspires. We would all like to see that happen by 2025, if possible.

I support also what Senator John Crown has said in respect of the Government using public relations companies that are closely linked to the tobacco industry. Like Senator David Norris, I am concerned as to how the use of legal firms might play out, but I will not go down that road today. This is a highly significant occasion. The Minister has shown that he is a man of steel. He persisted against the most appalling intimidation and pressure from a very wealthy organisation, for which I congratulate him. I hope many lives are saved as a result of the passing of this legislation and that resources will be freed up in the health services that can be put to other areas of preventative medicine. I say "Well done" to the Minister and congratulations to every member of the Oireachtas who supported the Bill without exception. It must be unique that there was not one dissenting voice in either House of the Oireachtas against this legislation.

Two more Senators are offering and then the Minister wants to make a brief reply. I am against the clock and another Minister is waiting to come in on other legislation. This is a very important issue and I am allowing flexibility and latitude.

I welcome the Minister whom I fully support in bringing forward the legislation and spearheading the issue of plain packaging, which is long overdue. Given that more than 50 years ago a Surgeon General of the United States identified that smoking was a real health problem and a real health risk, it has taken us a long time to react. In fairness, many campaigns have been conducted over the years and all the organisations, Ms Kathleen O'Meara, Senator John Crown and people in the medical profession have consistently highlighted the risks, particularly in the past 25 to 30 years. This is a welcome step. Given that more than 700,000 people still smoke in Ireland, that is, 19.5% of the population over 12 years of age, it is still a major challenge to deal with the issue. Standardised packaging and highlighting the risks that people take on by smoking and continuing to smoke are important.

An issue we have not touched on is the actual cost to households. If a person smokes 20 cigarettes per day at a cost of €10 per day, that amounts to €3,650 per year, which is a lot of money that could do much for families within a household. We are having a major debate about paying for a service to our houses which will cost €250 to €260 per year and yet we are talking about ten times and 15 times that amount being paid by people to buy cigarettes which are damaging their health. This is a serious issue and one that needs to be highlighted. Given that 19.5% of the population over 12 years of age still smoke, let us hope that percentage can be reduced by 50% in the next five years and then reach the 5% target set by the Minister. In fairness, as other Senators have pointed out, for anyone who is still smoking it is very difficult to move away from it. It is a drug. Those who want to give up smoking should be given the support they require and every possible help to assist them in kicking the habit.

I thank the Minister for bringing forward the legislation and look forward to it being fully implemented. In the event of any legal challenge we are up for that fight. It is important that we have the best legal teams. It is not about taking on the tobacco companies but about protecting people's health. By employing a legal team to fight this issue, we are employing a legal team to protect people's health. That is what the issue is about.

I congratulate the Minister on bringing forward this legislation. I point to the fact that younger people who do not smoke are more likely to continue in sport and in other life-affirming activities. An added benefit that we have not noted is that young people who do not smoke are less likely to consume other products such as cannabis or other drugs because of the inhaling motion required and the reflex needed that people who smoke cigarettes can get used to. We know the difficulties to which that leads. Not only is there a direct benefit to health in the most obvious way, there is also a huge knock-on benefit to the public good in what the Minister is doing.

Does Senator Averil Power wish to come in on this issue?

May I come in after-----

It will have to be now because I have to finish the debate.

Can I speak-----

May I speak on the Bill after it is passed?

We will not have time. I am against the clock.

I strongly welcome the fact that this legislation will be passed today. It has taken much personal leadership on behalf of the Minister. It has inspired all his initiatives in the tobacco area. This is a horrible, cynical and dangerous product and the more we can do to help people quit smoking, the better.

I congratulate the Minister. It is welcome that the Bill started in this House and that the Minister has brought it through the Dáil and back to this House today. As the Minister is aware, Senator John Crown and I published another Bill recently on e-cigarettes. We hope to engage with the Minister on the matter because tobacco is a major killer and something on which we should have cross-party co-operation. Certainly, the Minister has my backing and that of our group in tackling this area.

I reiterate my full support for the Bill. One of the figures that stood with me as we went through the debate was the reference to the tobacco industry in Ireland needing 50 new smokers a day, almost 80% of whom are going to be under 18 years. It is great to see the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs bringing this Bill into law.

Question put and agreed to.
Question proposed: "That the Bill do now pass."

I thank all Senators for their kind comments and, more importantly, for their support. I will make some comments on some of the issues raised. Senator John Crown mentioned all the visits taking place over the St Patrick's Day period. It is a great opportunity for this country to advertise itself in a way that no other country has the opportunity to do. For my part, I will be going to Abu Dhabi and India. While in Abu Dhabi I will be addressing the World Health Organization plenary session on this issue. I consider this to be a great honour for me and for the country.

Senator John Kelly raised concerns around cigars. All products sold here will be subject to plain packaging, including cigars, wherever they come from. I do not mean to be in any way confrontational, but I believe it behoves all of us to always put lives before jobs, in particular, the lives of our children in the future and those of future generations.

Since the economic crash, there has been much public discussion on how the political system let us down as well as suggestions about how it could be changed and strengthened. While there are weaknesses in our system, there are also great strengths. Many parliaments have tried to introduce plain packaging legislation only to see the tobacco industry swing into gear. Parliaments have ended up delaying or abandoning their plans. This has not happened in the Oireachtas, either in this House or in the Dáil. Not one word of this Bill has been changed on foot of pressure from the tobacco industry. The Bill has not been delayed by one day on foot of pressure from the industry either. The Oireachtas has proved to be impenetrable to tobacco industry influence and we should be proud of this. Today, this will become only the second parliament in the world and the first in Europe to pass legislation introducing standardised packaging. It is a credit to the Dáil and the Seanad, Government and Opposition parties and all the Members of this House.

No conversation about tobacco is complete without mentioning that every year 5,200 Irish people die prematurely from smoking. This year alone, more people in this country will die from smoking than died during 30 years of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Some 21 years ago it seemed an aspirational dream that Northern Ireland could live in peace. However, with cross-party support and political priority, that was achieved. We have the same cross-party consensus on tackling smoking. This cross-party support has endured through successive governments. There was cross-party support for the ban on smoking in the workplace, the point-of-display ban and now there is cross-party support for the introduction of standardised packaging. If this public health epidemic is given the political priority it deserves, with cross-party support we can achieve our aim of a tobacco-free Ireland by 2025. Standardised packaging of tobacco is the next step towards achieving this aim.

I express my appreciation to the officials in the Department of Health who have been working on this legislation for over two years. I hope they share in the sense of satisfaction at seeing this Bill pass through its final Stage in the Oireachtas. I thank the Attorney General for the commitment and energy that she and her staff have dedicated to the Bill. Without their legal expertise it would not have been possible to proceed with such a Bill. I thank the many non-governmental organisations, representatives of which are in the Gallery, including representatives from the Irish Cancer Society, the Irish Thoracic Society, the Asthma Society of Ireland and the Irish Heart Foundation as well as many others who have stood foursquare with us on this matter.

Many Members will know of Gerry Collins from the HSE's powerful anti-smoking advertisement. When diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, he bravely volunteered to spearhead a campaign to inform the public of the real consequences of smoking. Sadly, Gerry, a father of three, passed away from lung cancer one year ago yesterday at the age of only 57 years. I believe it is appropriate that I conclude the passage of this Bill through the Oireachtas by quoting Gerry's final line in that anti-smoking advertisement:

I’m going to die soon, from smoking. I’m not dying from anything other than cigarettes...

Don’t smoke. Don’t start, and for those who have, stop.

The message is simple: smoking kills. We owe it to children to protect them from it and today we will do so. I commend the Bill to the House.

Question put and agreed to.