Court of Justice of the European Union Cases relating to the Tobacco Products Directive

Statement by Minister for Health Leo Varadkar:

The Minister for Health and the Irish Government welcomes the judgements of the European Court of Justice in relation to three challenges relating to the 2014 Tobacco Products Directive which was published this morning.

The judgements confirm the validity of the Directive which will allow for the future EU-wide prohibition of menthol cigarettes, the introduction of special rules for e-cigarettes and the further standardisation of packaging by Member States.

The Minister for Health has said he is pleased that the judgements issued today confirm the validity of the legal provisions of the Tobacco Products Directive. In particular the European Court is of the view that the Directive provides a legal basis for Ireland and other countries to introduce standardised packaging of tobacco products.

This Directive is an important next step for the EU members in tackling the 700,000 deaths which occur annually in the EU from tobacco related diseases.

In the meantime, the Department of Health will continue to work on providing for the Directive in Irish domestic law and will continue to move towards the introduction of standardised packaging.

The European Institute of Women’s Health (EIWH) would like firstly to acknowledge and secondly give their full support to this and all future moves to limit the harm and damage caused bu tobacco and its products in all its different and still evolving forms.

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