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Disappointment as Government seeks to water down penalties for tobacco companies

10 July, 2009 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has expressed his disappointment that the Government has sought to water down the penalties for tobacco companies for breaches of law in relation to the sale and advertisement of tobacco.

Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon on the Public Health Tobacco Amendment Bill Deputy Ó Caoláin said, “It is extremely disappointing to see the Government bringing forward provisions in this Bill which water down the penalties for breaches of the law relating to the advertisement, sale and display and tobacco products in shops.

“What signal does this send out when the latest survey from the Office of Tobacco Control shows that 40% of shop retailers and 63% of licensed premises are willing to sell cigarettes to minors?

“While there has been some improvement in those figures since 2007 it is still a very high rate and shows that breaches of the law are widespread. Such breaches help to ensure that children can get ready access to cigarettes and begin an addiction that will be life-long in many cases, health-impairing in most and fatal in a very significant number.” ENDS

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