HSE Publish Their “Endgame” Strategy

HSE Publish Their “Endgame” Strategy

In a report published today (see report), the HSE will seek to influence the Department of Health to seek the completion and publication of a review of the current “Tobacco-Free Ireland” policy.

They have stated that a plan should be put in place with a clear, time-bound and measurable set of actions that will deliver the stated ambition of a smoking prevalence in Ireland of less than 5% by a specific date.

They also suggested “in recognition of the support identified in this survey, and elsewhere, legislation to adjust upward the prohibition on tobacco product sales to young people should be a priority (“Tobacco 21” type measures).

This was one of eight specific proposals made by the author of the report.  The others were:

  • Extend the scope of smoke-free environments
  • Examine regulating nicotine content in tobacco products
  • Restrict the number of outlets selling tobacco products
  • Put in place an action plan to assist those experiencing health inequalities
  • Prevent tobacco industry interference through front groups and “other well-known tactics”.
  • Request the Attorney General to consider litigation against the tobacco companies to recover the annual €500 million costs to the health service.
  • Requesting structures to be put in place for government oversights on “Tobacco Free Ireland”.

The HSE has also suggested a focus on “leaving nobody behind” by ensuring a range of supports for smokers trying to quit.

Finally- the HSE suggests that the report be used to ensure a continuing public support and dialogue  that “determines” acceptance of the harm caused by tobacco.

Curiously – no mention of how the 1 in 5 smokers that get their tobacco from smuggled/duty free/or duty paid in another EU member state will be approached.