IMO welcomes Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Bill
6th February 2013. Dr Matt Sadlier, President of the Irish Medical Organisation said that introducing plain packaging with appropriately sized graphic health warnings would be a crucial investment in the long-term health of the country and that the IMO believes that Ireland needs to continue to lead the way by legislating in the fight against tobacco. Dr. Sadlier was addressing the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children..
The current Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Bill 2013 will legislate for 65% health warnings on packages, which is the minimum required by the forthcoming EU Tobacco Products Directive. The IMO believes that 75% of cigarette packaging should to be covered in health warnings in order to protect the wellbeing of Irish citizens. Dr Sadlier said “While the IMO welcome the proposed Bill, it is crucial that Ireland continues to lead the way by legislating for cigarette packaging that is plain and contains appropriate health warnings. The Bill provides the opportunity to capitalise on these developments further by reducing the attractiveness and appeal of tobacco products to children.”
There is a growing body of evidence on the effectiveness of graphic warnings and that these warnings decreased the odds of being a smoker and increased the odds of making a quit attempt. Research also shows that when young people look at plain cigarette packs, they believe the product is used by people who are less stylish and sociable, and not as attractive to mimic.
The IMO has long championed efforts to reduce the number of smokers in Ireland. At our last AGM, we passed a motion supporting the Minister for Health’s planned introduction of standardised packaging for tobacco products..
Dr Sadlier said that in relation to cigarette smuggling, the IMO would like to congratulate the Government on signing the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products. This treaty will hopefully help mitigate the illicit trade of tobacco products globally.