New graphic photos on Irish tobacco products from today

Health Minister also examining other ways of helping smokers quit

From today graphic photos are being introduced on cigarette packets here.

The images depict the negative effects of smoking.

They have proved successful in other countries in getting people to quit.

The Health Minister Dr. James Reilly has claimed that "If tobacco were discovered today, it would not be a legal product".

From today the graphic photographs will be combined with stark health warnings andl appear on packets of cigarettes.

The coloured images chosen include a child on a respirator, a heart attack victim and a diseased mouth and lung.

Ireland has selected 14 graphic images to display on packs.

Research in other countries has shown that the warnings can be an effective means of encouraging smokers to quit.

The Health Minister says he is also examining other means of helping smokers to break the habit.

They include banning tobacco companies from displaying their logos on packaging.

Any tobacco product placed on the market before today, can continue to be sold until February 1st 2014, to facilitate "slow moving" tobacco products.