Put cigs in plain packs, says MEP

Groupe GUE
Groupe GUE

Sinn Féin MEP has urged the Executive at Stormont to back moves to introducing plain packaging for cigarettes in the North.

Ms Anderson, who has been centrally involved in the EU tobacco products directive at the European Parliament, said the move would help reduce the number of people who take up smoking.

She made the call after health minister Edwin Poots tabled a legislative consent motion which would enable the Assembly to pass legislation to remove brand names and logos from tobacco products.

The move would bring the North into line with England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland, all of which are introducing plain tobacco packaging.

“44 people die each week in the North from smoking related illnesses. That means on average seven people from Derry are dying each week as a result of smoking. If that many people died in any other way people would be calling for action and we should be doing the same with smoking.

“Implementing this and introducing plain packaging, with images of the impact of smoking, will help deter people from taking it up in the first place. While it is never too late to stop smoking it is better not to start at all. I want to see the Executive supporting this,” she said.