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Tobacco-Related Diseases

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 2 November 2011

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Questions (520)

John O'Mahony


531 Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Minister for Health his plans to introduce warnings on cigarette packs in relation to problems caused to eyesight and blindness; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32254/11]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Health)

The European Commission provides rules in relation to text warnings and combined (text and photo) warnings for tobacco products. There are no warnings currently approved by the Commission specifically relating to eyesight and blindness. Since 2001, however, new scientific evidence has emerged on the health effects of tobacco use which indicates that smoking plays a causal role in mouth and throat cancer, visual impairments as well as dental and gum disease. In view of this and the need to maintain effective tobacco labelling the Commission is currently undertaking a review of the health text warnings and I can advise the Deputy that one of the proposed new health warnings which is being considered relates to smoking increasing the risk of blindness.