The first tobacco products carrying the new standardised and plain packaging are now available in a number of retail outlets in Ireland.

The development is in accordance with the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Act 2015, which stated that all cigarettes and other tobacco products need to be sold in plain or standardised packaging.

From September, all cigarette boxes will be devoid of the colours and logos of the different brands, so they will be available in the same plain neutral colour across Ireland.

“This packaging makes it plain that cigarettes are bad for your health.”

All cigarette brands will focus on clearly presenting the health warnings on the packets.

Ireland’s Department of Health Minister Catherine Byrne said: “Our aim is to decrease the appeal of tobacco products, to increase the effectiveness of health warnings and to reduce the chances of consumers being misled about the harmful effects of smoking. This packaging makes it plain that cigarettes are bad for your health.”

Outlined in the Tobacco Free Ireland programme, standardised and plain tobacco packaging have been introduced to discourage smokers, in addition to preventing young people from starting to smoke.

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In 2000, Ireland adopted the Towards a Tobacco-Free Society (TTFS) programme as government policy that proposed an integrated strategy in order to manage and reduce tobacco consumption across the country.

Ireland aims to become a tobacco-free nation by 2025, which means that the smoking prevalence rate in the country will be less than 5% of the Irish population.

In 2012, Australia became the first nation to pass legislation on standardised tobacco packaging followed by the UK.