Tobacco and minimum purchase age


Sir, – The Minister for Health has published the Tobacco Free Ireland 2020 Annual Report. It has a target for Ireland to be tobacco free by 2025, ie less than 5 per cent users by that time. Remarkably the report does not mention any proposals to increase the minimum purchase age, which in Ireland is 18 years.

In December 2019, following a federal law being passed in Congress, the US increased the purchase age to 21 for all states. Countries such as India, Mongolia and Uganda all have the same 21 age limit. Singapore has, since January 2019, raised on a yearly rolling basis, the minimum age from 18 to 21. They also have very strict penalties, up to $10,000 fines for repeat offences. It seems they take the selling of tobacco products to minors very seriously indeed.

Since it would only take a stroke of the pen for our minimum age to be raised to be in line with other countries, I wonder why it has not been done. It would save many lives. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6W.