Ireland's Health Minister Plans to Ban Smoking for All Citizens

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Ireland's Health Minister Plans to Ban Smoking for All Citizens
Ireland's Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly, plans to ban smoking nationwide and first raise the legal age to 21.

According to an article in the Irish Post on December 24th, Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has announced plans to ban smoking for the entire population of Ireland.


Donnelly expressed his plan to initially raise the legal age for purchasing cigarettes to 21, marking the first step towards his groundbreaking initiative of a comprehensive smoking ban in Ireland. He told the media that his plan "will save many lives".


He hopes to introduce a bill similar to recently proposed legislation in the UK, where the Conservative government aims to make it a criminal offense to sell tobacco products to individuals born on or after January 1st, 2009. This essentially means that it will gradually raise the legal smoking age each year until all individuals are covered by this regulation. It is expected that by 2040, teenage smoking should be effectively eradicated.


Donald said that he has requested his officials to "prepare some options" in order to legislate for his groundbreaking plan.


Donald Lee, a government official, has expressed his consideration for raising the legal smoking age. Currently, it is illegal for individuals under the age of 18 to purchase cigarettes. Lee believes there is a compelling public health rationale to increase this age restriction. He suggested that the minimum age could potentially be raised to 21, or even further.


He also revealed that his grandmother died from emphysema caused by smoking, and her death was not peaceful.


Last week, Donaldson implemented Part 28 of the Public Health (Tobacco and Nicotine Inhalation Products) Act, which will prohibit the sale of nicotine inhalation products to individuals under the age of 18. Those who violate the new law may face fines of up to 4000 Euros and/or imprisonment for a maximum period of 6 months.


He also stated, "I am grateful to the colleagues in both houses of Parliament for understanding the urgency concerning our children and supporting my efforts in swiftly implementing this law. I also want to acknowledge the officials in my department and the staff at the Office of the Attorney General, who have worked diligently to refine the legal statutes, enabling us to enforce this ban starting from tomorrow.


He stated, "In 2024, I will implement additional measures outlined in this legislation, such as advertising regulations, licensing systems, and vending machine restrictions. We will review the public consultation outcomes concerning e-cigarettes and other tobacco products."


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