Written answers

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Department of Health

Tobacco Control Measures

Photo of Arthur SpringArthur Spring (Kerry North-West Limerick, Labour)
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189. To ask the Minister for Health when the regulatory impact analysis including the cost benefit assessment will be completed on the proposal for plain packaging in the tobacco industry; if there will be a public consultation and the Government Departments that will be involved in the consultation process. [28426/13]

Photo of James ReillyJames Reilly (Minister, Department of Health; Dublin North, Fine Gael)
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In line with the Regulatory Impact Assessment Guidelines (RIA) published by the Department of the Taoiseach, my Department will be undertaking a Regulatory Impact Analysis on the proposed legislation for the introduction of standardised packaging for tobacco products. As the Deputy will be aware consultation is an integral part of the RIA process. The RIA process is an on-going one and as such the RIA is updated throughout the legislative development process.

Photo of Arthur SpringArthur Spring (Kerry North-West Limerick, Labour)
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190. To ask the Minister for Health his views regarding the proposal for plain packaging in the tobacco industry; and his views on whether there will be an impact on the retail business. [28427/13]

Photo of James ReillyJames Reilly (Minister, Department of Health; Dublin North, Fine Gael)
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As the Deputy is aware approximately 5,200 people die every year from tobacco related diseases. My aim as Minister for Health is to put in place measures which will have the effect of reducing the number of people currently smoking and, in particular, reducing the number of children and young people who start to smoke. The proposal to develop legislation introducing standardised packaging for tobacco products, as approved by Government, is just one of a number of measures which will assist in achieving that aim. This legislative proposal, along with a number of other measures, which will be set out in a new tobacco policy which will be put before Government for approval in the near future.

In relation to the impact on the retail sector, the costs, benefits and impacts of this proposal will be included in the Regulatory Impact Analysis to be undertaken by my Department. However, it should be stated that the retail sector has played a significant and positive role over the past number of years in many tobacco control measures, e.g. tobacco advertising, point of sale display bans and prohibition of the sale of tobacco to those under 18 years. I look forward to working constructively with it in relation to this measure and other measures into the future in order to reduce the number of deaths from tobacco related diseases.

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