James Reilly, the Minister for Health of Ireland published a plan which lowers the prevalence of smoking in the country to less than 5% of the population by 2025. The Tobacco Free plan recommends adapting laws which prohibit smoking within the campuses of primary and secondary schools and promotion of tobacco-free campuses for all institutions of third level .
The plan contains 60 recommendations that are aimed to cut the rate of smoking. Today 22% of the adult population smokes. Reilly said new anti-smoking measures would protect the next generation from starting smoking. The document establishes the Government’s aims but there will be developed a detailed action plan.
The suggestion which includes an annual excise duty increase on tobacco products was criticised by smokers’ rights campaigners. The report says that higher tobacco taxes and prices are the single most effective measure to reduce overall tobacco use.
Dr Haik Nikogosian, the World Health Organisation tobacco control chief, said the plan was an example of Ireland’s strong leadership on tobacco measures over the past several years. Dr Nikogosian said smoking should be unacceptable by the society. Smokers’ rights campaigners called the proposal “morally wrong” and said it will hundreds of thousands of adults around the country would be against it.
Mr Mallon said, that Ireland will not be tobacco free by 2015. He added that Reilly’s personal crusade to denormalise tobacco and stigmatise adults who choose to smoke has got to stop. What will be next? Alcohol? Sugary drinks? The Irish Cancer society welcomed the plan, especially its goal to deal with the permanent marketing assault on teenagers and kids. They asked the Department of Health if they had the budget to put plan into action.
John McCormack, chief executive of Irish Cancer society asked Reilly to seek an increased health budget to prevent this ambitious strategy. The society is interested in how the Government will deal with poor layers of society where women are over twice as likely to smoke because of the social conditions that affect their lives.
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