Licensing tobacco – an alternative route


Sir, – Further to William Reville’s “A licence to smoke – the endgame for tobacco?” (Science, April 21st), licensing tobacco products may or may not be successful. If it reduces smoking, it could significantly improve the health of our society.

The Tasmanian parliament is discussing a Bill which, if passed, would protect all who have been born in this century by gradually increasing the legal age of people to whom tobacco products can be sold. It does not criminalise the smoker but puts the onus on tobacconists to check the age of the purchaser. It is designed to eradicate smoking over time and protects the young by focusing on a tobacco-free generation.

So impressed was I by the logic of the argument that a few months ago I submitted a proposal to the Dáil subcommittee on petitions that Ireland should follow the example of Tasmania on this issue. Although it was submitted and acknowledged, unfortunately with the general election the committee ceased to exist and the petition fell. There is some doubt as to whether or not the subcommittee will be reconstituted in the new Oireachtas.

Meanwhile there might be some legislator out there who could pick up the baton on this important health issue. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6W.