Ireland first to ban tobacco advertising

  • Joanne McCarthy

Ireland will become the first country in the EU to remove all tobacco advertising from retail outlets tomorrow.

The changes mean that all tobacco products in shops are stored out of view, within a closed container or dispenser, only accessible by retail staff. A sign must be shown to advise that tobacco products are sold at the premises.

Retail staff may use a pictorial list to inform a customer aged over 18 who wishes to buy tobacco products as to the products that are available.

Self-service vending machines will be prohibited except in licensed premises and registered clubs.

All retailers of tobacco products must register with the Office of Tobacco Control.

ASH Ireland welcomed the legislation, describing it as another first for Ireland in the fight against tobacco and saying our Government is to be complimented on this initiative.

“This is important health legislation and we ask all retail outlets to ensure compliance so that children all around the country can be protected.  Over the years retail outlets had become a major source of advertising and promotion for the tobacco industry and this of course allowed the industry bombard our children and make them feel comfortable with tobacco.  Thankfully this is all about to change,” said Dr Angie Brown, chairperson of ASH Ireland.

ASH Ireland stressed that it is imperative that we do not become complacent about tobacco, as almost 30% of our population still smoke and close to 7,000 people die from tobacco related disease annually. 

“We are dealing with an industry, which is prepared to invest heavily in the marketing and promotion of a killer product – and we must be forever creative and thorough in seeking ways to combat this,” it said.
 
The provisions to the Public Health (Tobacco) Acts 2002 and 2004 come into force tomorrow, Wednesday July 1st 2009.


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