JTI Ireland today repeated its call for Health Minister James Reilly to urgently publish the findings of the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) on plain packaging of tobacco products.
JTI maintains that the decision to introduce a Bill before publishing the RIA is also at odds with the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs 2012, which emphasised the importance of evidence-based policy.
The tobacco giant has raised concerns that implementing plain packaging will not only fail to reduce the number of smokers but lead to an increase in the illegal trade – as has been the case in Australia – and by extension put jobs in retail at risk.
“There is absolutely no credible evidence to suggest the measure will reduce the incidence of smoking or indeed lead to actual health benefits,” said John Freda, general manager of JTI Ireland.
“Therefore it is vitally important that the Department of Health publishes the RIA as a matter of urgency to show the grounds on which they are pursing this legislation.
“Plain packaging will only serve the interests of criminal gangs, as it has in Australia… It will increase access to tobacco products as cigarettes are at least 50% cheaper on the streets than the ones sold by legitimate retailers. And unlike legitimate retailers, criminal gangs will readily sell cigarettes to children.
“Given all we know about the negative impacts of ‘plain’ packaging in Australia, the Irish Government must find credible evidence, which currently doesn’t exist.”
© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Conor William O’Brien