World No Tobacco Day – WHO Award for the Department of Health, Ireland

The World Health Organisation has awarded the Department of Health a 2017 World No Tobacco Day Award for its achievements in the area of tobacco control.

Ireland is a world leader in tobacco control, and the team at the Department of Health has led the implementation of many of the measures that the WHO calls for today.

This year on World No Tobacco Day is calling on governments to implement strong tobacco control measures, including banning marketing and advertising of tobacco, promoting plain packaging of tobacco products, raising excise taxes, and making indoor public places and workplaces smoke-free.

Speaking today, Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy TD said.

“We can be proud of the progress we have made in Ireland, and that this progress has been rewarded not only in the improved health of Irish people, but in this recognition from the WHO for the work the Department has undertaken.  Ireland ranks second out of 34 European Countries in relation to tobacco control initiatives.  Recent measures, like the commencement of legislation for the standardised packaging of tobacco, to come into force in September 2017, have kept Ireland to the fore in this area.”

A recent study shows that smoking cessation interventions that support people who want to quit are more successful when compared to unassisted quitting.

The WHO campaign focuses on the threat that tobacco poses to all countries including the health and economic well-being of citizens.  The WHO is encouraging all governments to step up their tobacco control efforts.

  • Legislation for the standardised packaging of tobacco will come into force in September 2017, following the signing of the commencement order by Minister Corcoran Kennedy for the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Act 2015.
  • Standardised packaging aims to make tobacco packs look less attractive to consumers,
  • Make health warnings more prominent and to prevent packaging from misleading consumers about the harmful effects of tobacco.

All branding – trademarks, logos, colours and graphics – are to be removed from tobacco packs,            Brand and variant names will be presented in a uniform typeface for all brands and packs will all be in one plain neutral colour.

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