Tobacco: Plain packaging confirmed for 2017
The government has finally confirmed its plans to introduce plain packaging on tobacco products later this year
29 March 2017
This has been a long time coming. The government has confirmed its plans to bring forward legislation to introduce standardised packaging across all brands and varieties. What this means is from 30 September 2017, all tobacco manufactured for sale in Ireland must be in this type of packaging.
The aim of standardised packs, or plain packaging as it is more commonly known, is to make smoking “less attractive” and to bring increased focus on health warnings on the packs.
The move, welcomed by health minister Simon Harris and Minister of State Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, has been created to include a grace period of 12 months to allow stock manufatured before the cutoff point to “wash” through the business.
Simon Harris said that smoking and its related ilnessesses cost a total of €10.7bn every year, while Corcoran Kennedy pointed out that 80% of smokers in Ireland pick up the habit when they are children – the lowest age among all EU member states.
“Standardised packaging will reduce the attractiveness of tobacco products,” the minister said, “and forms a key part of Ireland’s strategy to reduce tobacco use, particularly uptake among children and young people.”
Tobacco manufacturers have long criticised plans for plain packaging, calling it a “bonanza” for the illegal and counterfeit trade that would cause a massive hit to the Revenue.