Thursday, 2 May 2013

Questions (231, 232)

Robert Troy

Question:

231. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health in his capacity as a member of the Council of Health Ministers, if he is supporting the European Commission’s proposal to have a minimum pack size of rolling tobacco of 40g as proposed in the European Tobacco Products Directive. [20944/13]

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Robert Troy

Question:

232. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health the way he as Health Council Chair and his Department can openly support and put forward any position for Ireland in the debate on the European Tobacco Products Directive which is currently underway with EU member states during the Irish Presidency, when he stated that the analysis of the 6,400 responses received by his Department on 16 January to the public consultation to inform Ireland’s view on the Directive is still ongoing as of 16 April. [20945/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 231 and 232 together.

The Irish Government supports the overall objective of the proposal for the revised Tobacco Products Directive which is to reduce the numbers of people smoking.

In particular the aim of the revised Directive is to reduce the attractiveness of tobacco products to young people. Approximately 700,000 people die every year in the EU from tobacco related illnesses. Some of the elements of the proposed Directive are already in place in Ireland e.g. mandatory picture and text warnings on cigarette packs and minimum contents of twenty cigarettes per pack.

Ireland, as one of the Tobacco Control leaders in the EU, supports any efforts at European level to limit the harm to health, society and to the economy caused by tobacco consumption. As Chair of the negotiations on the Directive during the Irish Presidency, we are working to progress the discussions and to build consensus among the Member States to facilitate the adoption of legislation which will ultimately reduce the number of EU citizens who die from tobacco related illnesses. These negotiations are on-going and no conclusions have been reached in relation to the Commission's proposal in Article 13 that a packet of roll your own tobacco should have a minimum weight of 40g.