Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Questions (255)

John Lyons

Question:

255. Deputy John Lyons asked the Minister for Health his plans to introduce plain or generic packaging for tobacco products; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35640/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Government approval was received on the 28th May 2013 to begin the process of introducing standardised/plain packaging of tobacco products in Ireland. My Department is currently establishing a High Level Implementation Group to oversee the implementation of a project plan and ensure that the legislation is effective in meeting the stated objectives of plain packaging.

Plain packaging, also known as generic packaging means that all forms of branding – trademarks, logos, colours and graphics – would be removed, except for the brand name, which would be presented in a uniform typeface for all brands on the market. All packs would be in a plain neutral colour, except for the mandatory health warnings. The objective is to make all tobacco packs look less attractive to consumers and to make health warnings more prominent.

Research shows that plain packaging will:

- Increase the noticeability, recall and impact of health warning messages;

- Reduce the ability of packaging to mislead consumers to believe that some products may be less harmful than others; and

- Reduce the attractiveness of the tobacco product, for both adults and children.

Government policy in relation to smoking is to promote and subsequently move toward a tobacco free society. Standardised packaging is one of a number of measures which will be implemented in order to reduce smoking in our society. This legislative proposal, along with a number of other measures, is set out in the policy document Tobacco Free Ireland which was approved by Government yesterday and will be published in September.