ICO Welcome Passing of Plain Packaging Bill at Dail Committee Stage

The Irish College of Ophthalmologist’s commend Minister James Reilly for his resolve and determination to see the passing of the Public Health (Standarised Packaging of Tobacco) Bill into law despite threats of legal action by a leading tobacco company.  The Bill was passed at Committee Stage in the Dail yesterday (Tuesday, February 17) bringing the reality of plain packaging being introduced in this country by next year a step closer. 

The ICO is a coalition member of health and children’s charities and organisations, including the ISPCC, Barnardos, the Children’s Rights Alliance, the Asthma Society of Ireland, the Irish Thoracic Society, COPD Ireland, ASH Ireland, the Irish Cancer Society and the Irish Heart Foundation, who came together to lobby politicians on the evidence that plain packaging works and must be introduced in the interests of patient safety.

Siobhan Kelly, CEO of the Irish College of Ophthalmologists said,

“The ICO fully endorse the advocacy efforts being undertaken to tackle tobacco usage in Ireland and commend the members of the Oireacthas for passing the Bill at Committee Stage today (Tuesday, February 17th).  This is a crucial step in the Government’s efforts to ensure the successful enactment of plain tobacco packaging as part of the continued commitment to reduce the harmful health impact of tobacco use in this country and to achieving a tobacco-free Ireland by 2025”.

After ageing, smoking is the biggest risk factor for developing the leading cause of sight loss in Ireland, Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and it also increases the risk of developing cataracts and glaucoma. 

Plain Packaging for Tobacco was introduced in Australia in 2012 where the latest Government figures show that the smoking rate there is at a historic low of 12.8%. Here in Ireland it’s just over 20%.

Ireland is now pioneering the plain packaging requirement in Europe. 




18th February 2015