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