Ten years after setting a trend with its workplace smoking ban, Ireland is pushing ahead to be the first EU state with plain packaging for cigarettes, despite fierce opposition from tobacco companies.
Lawmakers will vote to introduce plain packaging in the new year. Under draft legislation before parliament, all forms of branding, including logos and colors, would be banned and all products would have uniform packaging with graphic health warnings.
"The cigarette box is the last form of advertising that the industry has," said Ireland's Minister for Children James Reilly, who is spearheading the drive. "Children are influenced by advertising. I believe this will prevent many children from taking up cigarette smoking."
Dublin is also looking to ban smoking in cars with children and to continue increasing the price of tobacco. In last month's budget, 40 cents was added to the price of a package of 20 cigarettes, bringing the cost to 10 euros.