The National Federation of Retail Newsagents Ireland (NFRN) is asking visiting EU Health Commissioner Mr Vytenis Andriukaitis to clarify his, and the European Commission's, views on plain packaging on tobacco products.
The NFRN is also calling on the Department of Health to postpone plans for plain packaging, saying that it lacks public support while evidence from Australia shows the policy there is having no impact.
A survey conducted by Amárach Research in late November 2014 found that 62% favour NFRN Ireland's call for postponement of plain packaging in favour of alternative approaches, such as youth education. 73% said they believe plain packaging makes it easier to counterfeit tobacco products and 58% said they do not think plain packaging will reduce smoking levels.
Recently published data shows that in five of Australia's largest states, the introduction of plain packaging in 2012 has not led to any statistically significant change in smoking rates. Evidence from Australia also suggests that plain packaging and the illegal trade are linked. Illegal imports of tobacco in Australia have risen from 0.5 million kilos in 2012 to 1.3 million kilos in 2014.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.