Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin has welcomed the ruling by an international court to throw out the challenge by the tobacco industry to Australia’s plain-packaging legislation for tobacco products.

Deputy Martin explained, “We cannot be complacent about the scourge of tobacco addiction. It kills people prematurely and those who become addicted have a higher chance of developing COPD and emphysema.

“The tobacco industry cannot be treated in the same way as other commercial entities. It spends billions of euros on advertising every year, in a bid to lure young people into a life of nicotine and tobacco addiction.

“This ruling will allow Ireland to proceed with legislation to introduce plain packaging on tobacco products, a move which Fianna Fáil fully supports. Ireland has been a world leader in the battle against smoking through the introduction of the smoking ban in 2004. The planned introduction of plain packaging on tobacco products will mark a significant step forward in the implementation of measures to try and encourage people to stop smoking and to prevent young people from taking up the habit in the first place”.