Early ban for tobacco print ads angers Irish publishers

The Republic of Ireland will lose tobacco advertising in newspapers and magazines this summer, along with sports sponsorship by cigarette companies.

The Republic of Ireland will lose tobacco advertising in newspapers

and magazines this summer, along with sports sponsorship by cigarette

companies.



A print ban was not due to be enforced until next year but it was

brought forward to 1 July after a cabinet reshuffle last month which

resulted in the appointment of Michael Martin as health minister.



The Irish government is running two years ahead of the European Union’s

timetable for a Europe-wide ad ban. Irish ministers are alarmed at the

rise in smoking-related illness and smoking’s popularity with the young,

particularly teenage girls.



Newspaper publishers, who had agreed to remove back-page tobacco

advertising from June, are angry because imported UK newspapers and

magazines will still be able to carry tobacco ads until the EU directive

takes effect.



Last year tobacco companies spent pounds 3.5 million in newspapers and

magazines in Ireland. Tobacco poster advertising has been banned in

Ireland since the early 80s.



John Holohan, the information manager of the IPA in Ireland, said: This

has caught media planners on the hop. Because of an agreement in place

to cap tobacco advertising, companies will not be allowed to blow their

print budgets between now and the end of June.’



The Irish government is also planning a public health campaign, although

no budget has yet been allocated and no agency pitch has been

called.



Meanwhile, ministers this week raised the age at which cigarettes can be

bought from 16 to 18. Store promotions are being restricted in an effort

to deter 15- to 17-year-olds, a third of whom are smokers.



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