Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed the commitment by the British government to introduce plain packaging on cigarette packets.
Ms Anderson said;
“Research has shown that young people in the 11 to 16 years-old age group are more susceptible to tobacco advertising than any other age bracket.
“Plain packaging contributes greatly to removing the temptation for young people to take up this deadly habit.
“Cigarette packages are one of the last promotional devices open to the tobacco industry to try to entice young people to start smoking and any effort to remove that is welcome.
“The introduction of plain packaging was one of the themes of the EU Tobacco Products Directive and it is encouraging to see member states implementing it.
“The previous health minister in the North had already committed to introducing the necessary legislation to bring the North into line with Britain and the rest of the island when plain packaging is introduced.
“It has worked elsewhere in the world, most notably in Australia, in actively preventing young people from taking up smoking.
“I look forward to its introduction in order to protect our young people from this deadly habit.”