Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 3 November 2021
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health
General Scheme of the Public Health (Tobacco and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill 2019: Department of Health
I agree. I think we all have evidence and know of people who have been told that they will lose limbs because of smoking and they have lost limbs. I know of one man who lost two limbs because of his smoking habit, which eventually killed him. It is very easy for us to tell people to give the cigarettes up. The man tried everything and he could not give them up. It would not have been unusual when I was growing up to know people smoked 40 or 50 cigarettes a day. How would anyone be able to afford that in today's world? There is a cost implication and it does impact on families. There is also the issue of passive smoking, and so on. There are many good reasons for quitting that we need to be getting out there. I think the Deputy is right about the provision of additional supports. Perhaps we can come up with ideas about that.
On the legislation and some of the issues that have been raised, I think the pandemic has brought important information to light because people were not travelling, so we will have a better idea of what products were coming in. On would imagine that the fact that people were not congregating should have made it more difficult for them to get the black market cigarettes but, again, people probably have contacts in local areas. People are not just going into Moore Street or the traditional areas to buy them. In every community there is someone who is involved in the trade, whether they are selling them in a shop or door to door. All of that is still going on. However, it should have been more difficult for people to buy them during the pandemic. We know that certainly at the start of the pandemic, people were drinking more . Perhaps as people were working from home they were smoking more. Deputy Gould spoke about the social aspect of smoking. That was not going on during the first part of the pandemic, as pubs and restaurants were closed. It might have been easier for people to try to give up cigarettes in that period.
Has Deputy Burke finished?