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May 29, 2013

Ireland to introduce standardised tobacco packaging

The Irish Health Ministry has received government approval to begin the process of introducing standardised / plain packaging of tobacco products.

By Srivani Venna

Plain tobacco packaging

The Irish Health Ministry has received government approval to begin the process of introducing standardised / plain packaging of tobacco products.

Health Minister James Reilly said the new legislation will be justified and supported by the fact that it will save lives.

"The introduction of standardised packaging will remove the final way for tobacco companies to promote their deadly product in Ireland," Reilly said.

Packaging has been used to reassure consumers about the risks of smoking by using words such as ‘mild’ or ‘light’ on packs in the past, according to a research, which also revealed that imagery and colours are used to influence consumers.

As part of standardised packaging of tobacco products, all forms of branding, such as trademarks, logos, colours and graphics, will be purged.

For all brands, the brand name would be presented in a uniform typeface and the packs would all be offered in one plain neutral colour.

Plain packaging is expected to increase the effectiveness of health warnings; reduce false health beliefs about cigarettes; and also cut down brand appeal among youth and young adults.

"Plain packaging is one of a number of measures that are required to effectively denormalise smoking in our society. As such this initiative should not be looked at in isolation. Education and awareness, cessation services and extending the smoking ban to other areas are just some of the other measures which I am currently progressing," Reilly concluded.


Image: All branding, such as trademarks, logos, colours and graphics, will be purged in standardised cigarette packaging. Photo courtesy of Salvatore Vuono.

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