The government has approved the first draft of laws to allow plain packaging of cigarettes.
The cabinet has approved the heads of a bill – the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Bill – at its meeting this morning, which will remove all tobacco branding from cigarette packets.
The bill will also allow for larger health warnings on a standard packet of cigarettes.
The bill will now go to the Oireachtas health committee for its feedback.
The Minister for Health, James Reilly, said the decision will contribute to making Ireland tobacco free by 2025.
"This legislation is critically important in protecting children from ever taking up smoking," he said.
The National Federation of Retail Newsagents, meanwhile, has criticised the move, warning there will be a surge in illicit trade once plain packaging is introduced.