Thursday, 20 June 2013

Questions (230)

Michael Healy-Rae


230. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 1019 of 11 June 2013, regarding cigarette packaging, if he will identify the international peer reviewed evidence that he referred to that establishes the evidence that standardised packaging will increase the effectiveness of health warnings, a reduction of false health beliefs about cigarettes and a reduction in cigarettes' brand appeal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29716/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Ireland has signed and ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). The FCTC is the first international treaty negotiated under the auspices of WHO. Article 11 of the Treaty relates to the packaging and labelling of tobacco products and in the Guidelines for the implementation of Article 11 Parties to the Treaty are requested to consider adopting standardised /plain packaging for tobacco products.

A considerable number of studies relating to tobacco packaging have been conducted internationally and as such it would not be possible for me to list all of the studies that have taken place in this regard. However, the studies I was referring to in my response to Parliamentary Question No. 1019 includes one of the most comprehensive and recent reviews carried out in this area. This review, entitled "Plain Tobacco Packaging: A Systematic Review" (Moodie et al), outlines the findings of 37 studies and provides evidence on the impacts of standardised/plain tobacco packaging. The review included studies from 1980 up to the time of its publication. The primary aim of the review was to assess the impact of standardised or plain packaging on the appeal of the packaging or product, the salience and effectiveness of health warnings and the perceptions of product strength and harm. The review concluded that there is strong evidence to support the introduction of standardised/plain packaging.