Ban on the sale of tobacco being considered by HSE

Each week in Ireland, 100 people die and 1,000 people are hospitalised because of tobacco use, according to the HSE.
Ban on the sale of tobacco being considered by HSE

Digital Desk Staff

A complete ban on the sale of tobacco and a sharp reduction in the number of outlets allowed to sell such products are two of the strategies being explored to help eradicate cigarette smoking in Ireland.

As the Irish Times reports, making the tobacco companies pay for massive health costs taken on by the State caring for people who are sick or dying from nicotine addiction is another option being explored by the HSE.

Each week in Ireland, 100 people die and 1,000 people are hospitalised because of tobacco use, according to the HSE.

Tobacco products are defined as anything containing tobacco for inhaling. It excludes nicotine products such as e-cigarettes.

Surveys are to be conducted early next year to explore public support for “innovative” strategies to bring about the “endgame” for cigarette smoking, with the results to feed into a report for the Tobacco-Free Ireland Strategic Programme Plan 2022.

The research is to explore levels of public support for banning or severely limiting the sale of tobacco products, including the proposed limiting of tobacco sales to a substantially reduced number of licensed retailers, or to pharmacies only.

Affordability of tobacco

The research will also explore banning the sale of tobacco products near schools and universities, and reducing the affordability of tobacco products by way of tax increases of up to 20 per cent a year.

Also to be examined will be levels of support for reducing the nicotine content of tobacco products to make them less addictive, banning filters and a requirement that individual cigarettes – as well as packets – should bear health warnings.

Moves targeting the tobacco industry that will be explored include banning tobacco representatives from meeting government, and requiring tobacco companies to pay the health service for tobacco-related health costs.

It is estimated that one out of every three young people who take up smoking will die from a smoking-related illness.

While cigarette smoking among young Irish people had been falling from the mid-1990s, that trend has changed in more recent years and rates of cigarette usage are creeping up again among teenagers.

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