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Plain packs won't work, Forest Eireann tells Committee on Health & Children

Posted on February 13, 2014

Addressing the Joint Committee on Health and Children in Dublin this morning, John Mallon, spokesman for the smokers’ group Forest Éireann, said standardised packaging of tobacco won’t work because “there is no credible evidence it will work”.

Accusing the government of “gesture politics”, Mallon said: “We do not want children to smoke. Smoking should be a choice for informed adults only and we support all reasonable measures that prevent or discourage children from purchasing or consuming tobacco.

“The proposal to introduce standardised packaging is neither reasonable nor justified. There is no credible evidence to suggest it will work. If government really wants to protect children from smoking it should seek tougher enforcement of existing laws, and focus on further education in schools."

He added: “We are concerned that plain packaging represents another step towards a nanny state in which adults are increasingly infantilised by politicians who don’t trust us to make decisions for ourselves.

“As consumers we are also concerned about the slippery slope, the idea that once standardised packaging is introduced for tobacco the policy will be adopted for alcohol, convenience foods and other potentially unhealthy products.

“Plain packaging is gesture politics. It won’t stop children smoking and there are other more important issues the Department of Health should prioritise in 2014.

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