'Plain Packs Plain Stupid' campaign to fight standardised packaging of tobacco
John Mallon, spokesman for the smokers’ group Forest Éireann, has taken to the road to promote the group’s new campaign ‘Plain Packs, Plain Stupid’.
Mallon will visit towns and cities including Dublin, Cork, Waterford, Limerick and Galway. He said: “Plain packaging of tobacco is gesture politics. It won’t stop children smoking and there are other more important issues the Minister for Health should prioritise in 2014.”
The ‘Plain Packs, Plain Stupid’ tour coincides with a series of hearings that the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health and Children is conducting to consider the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Bill 2013.
According to Mallon: “Most children start smoking because of peer pressure or the influence of family members. There is no credible evidence that plain packaging will have any long-term impact on youth smoking rates.
“Australia is the only country in the world that has introduced standardised packaging and so far there is nothing to suggest that it has had any effect on the consumption or sale of tobacco. There is however evidence that it has boosted illicit trade.
“The black market is already costing Ireland a fortune. The only people who will benefit from plain packaging are the counterfeiters and criminal gangs who are happy to sell cigarettes to anyone, including children.
“Far from being protected, children could be at even greater risk if the government goes ahead with this stupid plan.”