Ireland is following in the footsteps of Australia, which introduced a ban at the end of last year. The UK would have been the second country in the world to introduce plain packaging, but U-turned on its plans earlier this month.
The Irish Government’s move will see all branding removed from cigarette packets in Ireland. Instead, the brand name will be set in a uniform typeface for all brands, and the packs will all come in one plain, neutral colour.
The Irish Government has approved the proposals and Health Minister James Reilly says he is confident the legislation will be approved.
Reilly says, ‘Cigarette packets will no longer be a mobile advertisement for the tobacco industry.
‘Research has shown that packaging has been used effectively to reassure consumers about the risks of smoking, for example with the use of the words “mild” or “light” on packs.’
Reilly adds, ‘Research has also shown that imagery and colours are also used to influence customers. Pack shape and design are also key measures, with packs available that resemble a lipstick box.’
The UK Government had looked set to introduce plain packaging earlier this year, until Prime Minister David Cameron reportedly abandoned the plans at the last minute.
Contrary to expectations, plain cigarette packaging was not mentioned in this month’s Queen’s Speech, which sets out Parliament’s plans for the year ahead.