Ireland considers adoption of plain packaging for cigarettes

30 November 2014 (Last Updated November 30th, 2014 18:30)

Ireland is contemplating a proposal to adopt plain packaging for cigarettes, despite fierce opposition from tobacco companies.

Ireland is contemplating a proposal to adopt plain packaging for cigarettes, despite fierce opposition from tobacco companies.

The move forms a part of Dublin's strategy to make Ireland a smoke-free society by 2025, which means the smoking prevalence will be less than five percent.

It follows Australia's ban on cigarettes in 2012, which has helped to lower the smoking rates, as claimed by the government.

However, Japan Tobacco International said that there was no evidence that plain packaging in Australia has changed the rate of decline in smoking.

The new law, which will come into effect in 2015, will require a ban on all forms of branding on the packets, including logos and colours.

Additionally, all the products must have a uniform packaging with graphic health warnings.

"Children are influenced by advertising; I believe this will prevent many children from taking up cigarette smoking."

Ireland Minister for Children James Reilly was quoted by AFP as saying: "The cigarette box is the last form of advertising that the industry has.

"Children are influenced by advertising; I believe this will prevent many children from taking up cigarette smoking."

In March 2004, Ireland adopted a total workplace smoking ban, becoming the first country to implement this kind of ban.

Dublin is also planning to ban smoking in cars with children and to continue increasing the price of tobacco.

The cost of 20 cigarettes in the region was increased to €10 in November's budget.

If the new law comes into effect, Ireland will become the first EU state with plain packaging for cigarettes.