Plain cigarette packaging comes into force

A 12-month transition period runs out on Saturday

Plain cigarette packaging comes into force

Some examples of standardised cigarette packs used in Australia in 2014 | Image: Ella Pickover/PA Archive/PA Images

Cigarette and tobacco products here are to feature standardised packaging from Saturday September 30th.

This means all forms of branding - such as trademarks, logos, colours and graphics - are being removed from packs.

The brand and variant names will be in a uniform typeface and colour.

The Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Act was signed into law by the president in March 2015.

The commencement order was signed in March 2017, which meant all tobacco products manufactured for sale in Ireland from September 30th must be in standardised retail packaging.

A transition period for products manufactured and placed on the market before the September date runs out on Saturday.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) says the aim of standardised packaging is to make all tobacco packs look less attractive to consumers, make health warnings more prominent and to prevent packaging from misleading consumers about the harmful effects of tobacco.

Pro-smokers’ group Forest Ireland has criticised the measure.

Spokesman John Mallon says: "Plain packaging is yet another victory for those who want Ireland to be an oppressive nanny state in which adults are treated like children and teenagers are treated like idiots.

"Standardised packaging is gesture politics.

"There's no evidence that it stops adults smoking or encourages them to quit.

"Instead it’s yet another attempt to denormalise a legal product, stigmatising those who enjoy smoking, which isn’t a crime", he adds.