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Holy smoke Fine Gael's Frank Feighan wants to make Ireland 'tobacco free' in just five years

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Cigarette (stock)

Cigarette (stock)

Cigarette (stock)

Minister Frank Feighan believes that Ireland could be completely tobacco free within five years and wants to stub out the sale of e-cigarettes to children. 

According to the Minister of State for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Ireland is "on the right track" to be tobacco-free by 2025.

The Public Health (Tobacco and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill will ban the sale of tobacco products at places or events that are intended for children.

Tobacco Free Ireland, the national tobacco control policy, sets the target for the country to be tobacco-free, which is a smoking prevalence rate of less than five percent, by the year 2025.

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Junior Public Health Minister Frank Feighan

Junior Public Health Minister Frank Feighan

Junior Public Health Minister Frank Feighan

The 2019 Tobacco Free Ireland Annual Report published yesterday found that the key achievements last year included the approved drafting of the bill and the inclusion of a question on smoking in the 2021 census.

Minister of State Frank Feighan told Newstalk Breakfast that the number of people who smoke dropped by 165,000 over the last five years.

He said: "We are decreasing [the number of smokers] by an average of one or two percent,” he said.

"We want to ensure that smoking advertising will not be in an area that children have access to.

"Also, we want to look at banning the sale of e-cigarettes to children.

“We want to see where in the country and what age groups (are smoking) more than any other and then we can target our anti-smoking campaigns and our help to those groups."

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