Cigarette packaging move is right one

Mr Michael Ridgway, a spokesperson for the UK Packaging Industry, alleges that the decision to introduce “plain” or standardised, cigarette packs is not evidence-based. This is not the case.

The introduction of standardised cigarette packs in Australia, at the end of 2012, had been preceded by comprehensive research carried out by the Australian government which demonstrated its effectiveness in robbing the tobacco industry of its last remaining marketing tool, designed to build brand loyalty with existing smokers as well as attracting new smokers.

Research carried out in the UK by the Centre for Tobacco Control Research confirms the powerful marketing tool packaging is for the industry.

We applaud Minister for Health Dr James Reilly’s decision to introduce standardised packaging here as smoking is responsible for the deaths of 16 people in Ireland every day, deaths which are preventable. We believe this measure could result in a generation which is free of smoking, free of an addiction which kills half of its long-term users and costs the taxpayer €2bn a year.

We are clear that the tobacco industry will resist this measure as they did in Australia, and use a range of arguments, most spurious ones, to campaign against it.

Kathleen O’Meara

Head of Advocacy & Communications

Irish Cancer Society

Dublin 4

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