Minister tells it the way it is

| May 18, 2016

The Irish Cancer Society, the anti-smoking organization Ash and opposition parties have attacked the super junior minister (minister of state attending cabinet) Finian McGrath because of his refusal to promise to stop smoking despite his taking up a role at the Department of Health, according to a story by Elaine Loughlin for the Irish Examiner.

“We are not all super-humans,” he was quoted as saying. “We all have frailties and we have to accept that’s life and that’s part of life.”

McGrath also defended his personal views that pubs should have designated indoor smoking sections and that tobacco duty should not be increased further.

Patrick Doorley, chairman of Ash Ireland, said his organization was “deeply concerned” that consideration would be given to changing the regulations governing tobacco smoking in the workplace, while the Irish Cancer Society said that any roll-back of the smoking ban would be a retrograde step.

McGarth said he smoked up to 20 cigarettes a day but constantly tried to cut down.

“I can’t say that I will be giving them up because I am now in a new position as a minister at cabinet,” he said.

“What I am saying is beating those people up and kind of bullying them… we need to bring people along with proper public health policies out there to help us with our addiction, and that’s the progressive way forward.

“I try to give them up every single day. What I don’t do is go around talking about it or pontificating about it, but what I do is I make an effort every day, like many, many smokers.”

Category: Breaking News

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