If you would like to submit a contribution to our Readers Blog section then follow this link. Be sure to include your full name, address and contact number otherwise your submission will not be considered for publication. We will contact you prior to publication.

Plain packaging of cigarettes treats smokers as if they are stupid

Your leading article, ‘A victory for citizens over big business — the battle against tobacco’ (Irish Examiner, December 27), should have read ‘A victory for big government over the consumer’.

You failed to remind readers that, for several years now, at point-of-sale, all tobacco products have been hidden from the customer and the desired brand has to be asked for by name. Even so, a million of us still buy tobacco products, whilst paying the highest prices in the EU. Despite this, you imply that it’s the packaging that attracts and entices people to smoke, which is ludicrous.

You then assert that lives will be saved as a result of ‘plain’ packaging. Standardised packaging has never been about health, because there is no evidence that it reduces smoking rates. Instead, it’s just another measure to denormalise legitimate consumption of a legal product.

Worse, it infantilises all consumers, smokers and non-smokers, because it assumes we’re too stupid to make our own choices without excessive state intervention.

Whatever happened to consumer rights, or has the Irish Examiner abandoned them in favour of big government and the nanny state?

John Mallon

Forest Éireann

PO Box 322,

North City Delivery Service Unit,




Flexibility naturally declines with age but there’s a lot you can to stay supple through the decades, says Peta Bee.At full stretch: How to stay flexible through the years

Simon Prim is owner of Simon Prim Book Shop, Main Street, Kinsale, Co Cork, which sells second-hand books.‘Kinsale is a welcoming town, and everyone is encouraging’

The Everyman hosts Ronan FitzGibbon’s play about singsongs along the Blackwater, writes Marjorie BrennanA river runs through it: Everyman to play to host to Blackwater Babble

WHEN I think about the kind of child I was, I would say that I was the exact same kind of person that I am as an adult. I have always been fascinated by things that I don’t quite yet understand. I recognise that I hardly understand anything and that most of the world is and always has been so beautifully complex to me.School Daze: Chris Hadfield - I realised at a young age that teachers were fallible

More From The Irish Examiner