• Kirk Hartley

Ireland’s Goal – “Smoke Free” (Relatively Speaking) in 12 Years

Imagine – a smoke free country in Europe. That’s the 2025 goal of the Health Minister in Ireland, although the goal actually is not completely smoke-free and instead is to have smoking down under 5%. Plainly, governments and others are actively realizing that they cannot afford to continue to subsidize the absurdly high financial and human costs of an industry that sells death and disease. The online story includes the following key quotes:

Lyndsey Telford – 25 July 2013

HEALTH Minister James Reilly has declared war on smoking, saying he wants a tobacco‐free Ireland by 2025.

"It’s the only product I know that is legally, freely available that will kill you if you use it, according to the

manufacturers and so on," Dr Reilly said.

"It’s a fight that we cannot turn away from and that we can’t afford to lose. It’s a battle that will continue

until it’s won and it will be won."

He revealed that a document had been passed by Government, entitled Tobacco‐Free Ireland, which aims to have less than 5% of the population smoking within the next 12 years.

Ireland’s smoking population is currently 29% ‐ well above the average among OECD countries at 21%.

Dr Reilly is to meet a string of campaign groups later today ‐ including the Irish Heart Foundation, the Irish Cancer Society, Barnardo’s and Cystic Fibrosis Ireland ‐ to discuss "the dreadful damage

The Health Minister, in his quarterly meeting with the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children,

said he also wants to extend the smoking ban. Ireland became the first country to stop smoking in bars and restaurants with the workplace smoking ban in 2004. This was followed by an end to the sale of 10‐packs in 2007, a ban on retail displays and adverts in 2009, and picture health warnings on packets this year. An extension of the smoking ban could extend from the workplace to public areas such as parks and beaches.

Dr Reilly added that he has officially begun the process of introducing plain cigarette packaging across the country. He first announced Ireland’s plans to become the second country in the world ‐ after Australia ‐ to clampdown on the industry with plain packaging two months ago.


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