Plain cigarette packaging comes into force
Ireland becomes fourth country in world to remove logos from tobacco packaging
Samples of standardised packaging of tobacco products, which has been approved by the Government. File photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times
Ireland has become the fourth country in the world to introduce plain packaging for tobacco products.
As of today, tobacco packaging with all logos and other forms of branding must be removed from packs, which must be sold in a plain, neutral colour.
Australia, the United Kingdom and France have already introduced similar measures.
The Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Act was signed into law by President Michael D Higgins in March 2015.
While the measure, which is designed to make tobacco packs less attractive to consumers takes effect on September 30th, any products already manufactured by that date may be sold for another year.
The new legislation, which was strongly resisted by the tobacco industry, also makes health warnings more prominent and aims to prevent packaging from misleading consumers about the harmful effects of tobacco.
The policy group on tobacco and the faculty of public health medicine at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland welcomed the introduction of plain packaging of tobacco products.
Dr Des Cox, consultant in paediatric respiratory medicine and chair of the policy group on tobacco says plain packaging is a very important step in reducing tobacco consumption.
“Research to date has shown that plain packaging is successful in reducing the appeal of smoking through the replacement of brands and logos with health warnings on tobacco products,” said Dr Cox.
“Plain packaging eliminates tobacco packaging as a form of advertising and has been shown to help decrease tobacco consumption in countries where it has already been introduced,” he said.