Ireland to denormalize smokers in its quest for tobacco-free status by 2025

| October 7, 2013

A proposal to reduce the prevalence of smoking in Ireland from the current 22 percent of the population to less than 5 percent by 2025 has been published by the Minister for Health, James Reilly, according to a story in the Irish Times.

The proposal broadly sets out the government’s aims but a detailed action plan with timelines has yet to be developed.

Tobacco Free Ireland (a country is deemed in some quarters to be tobacco free if the smoking population is lower than 5 percent), would seek to further denormalize smokers.

It would include an annual excise duty increase on tobacco products over five straight years.

And it would prohibit smoking within the campuses of primary schools, secondary schools and child care facilities, while promoting tobacco free campuses for all tertiary institutions.

In all, the proposal sets out 60 recommendations aimed at cutting the rate of smoking, one of which would require tobacco manufacturers to offer their cigarettes in standardized packaging.

Meanwhile, according to a Sunday Times story, an Irish-based lawyer for Philip Morris International has warned that Ireland will face compensation claims running to hundreds of millions of euro if it introduces a requirement for standardized tobacco packs.

Alistair Payne, of Matheson solicitors, was quoted as saying that if Ireland did not allow tobacco companies to use their branding it would breach the intellectual property rights of the companies. He said these rights were guaranteed under the Irish constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Category: Breaking News

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