Campaigners have criticised a new tobacco policy, Tobacco Free Ireland, which was launched by Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly this morning.
The plan is to make Ireland a tobacco-free country by 2025 and the document the minister launched outlines 60 recommendations to try to eliminate smoking.
Attacking plans to denormalise smoking and make Ireland “tobacco-free” by 2025, John Mallon, spokesman for Forest Éireann, said: “It is morally wrong to denormalise smoking because that means stigmatising consumers of a legal product enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of adults throughout the country.
“Smokers contribute a huge amount of money to the government through tobacco taxation. Denormalising tobacco will drive more and more people to the black market and the fringes of society.
“The smoking ban closed hundreds of pubs. It ruined many people’s social lives but had little impact on smoking rates, so the idea that Ireland will be tobacco-free by 2025 is a figment of James Reilly’s imagination.
“This personal crusade to denormalise tobacco and stigmatise adults who choose to smoke has got to stop. What next? Alcohol? Sugary drinks? Convenience food?”
Forest Éireann is funded by Forest UK, which is supported by British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco Limited, and Gallaher Limited (part of the Japan International Group of Companies).
More on Forest here.
You can read, Towards a tobacco free society: Report of the Tobacco Free policy Review Group, here.
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