The Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Act was signed into law by President Michael D Higgins in March 2015, and took effect last Saturday, on the 30th of September.
Any cigarettes that have been manufactured prior to this date are allowed to be sold for another year. However, any packaging produced as of Saturday the 30th, will be devoid of any logos and any other forms of branding and sold in a plain, neutral colour.
Attempts by ‘Big Tobacco’ to stop such measures
A similar measure has already been introduced in Australia, the United Kingdom and France. As one may expect, the world’s major tobacco companies have tried incessantly to get these regulations repealed, however the courts have so far upheld these measures, which are in turn proving successful in decreasing smoking rates.
The policy group on tobacco and the faculty of public health medicine at the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) of Ireland, believe that this motion is a step in the right direction. The chair of the policy group on tobacco, Dr Des Cox, believes that the introduction of plain packaging will play a main role in reducing the appeal of cigarettes.
Plain packaging proving successful
“Research to date has shown that plain packaging is successful in reducing the appeal of smoking through the replacement of brands and logos with health warnings on tobacco products,” said Dr Cox, adding, “Plain packaging eliminates tobacco packaging as a form of advertising and has been shown to help decrease tobacco consumption in countries where it has already been introduced.”
Read Further : The Irish Times