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First in EU: Ireland to Ban Tobacco Sales to Under-21s

Ireland is set to make history as the first EU member to ban the sale of tobacco to individuals under 21 years old

Ireland is set to become the first EU member to ban the sale of tobacco to those under the age of 21, moving up from the current age limit of 18, making it the first country in the European Union to introduce such a measure.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly stated that he hopes the legislation will progress quickly to become law.

He explained that the government did not adopt the approach of the UK government, which aims to legally ban smoking for those born after 2009, due to EU single market rules and the Tobacco Products Directive. However, he mentioned that a review of the EU’s position is underway.

Twenty years ago, Ireland became the first country in the world to ban smoking in workplaces, including pubs and restaurants.

Currently, 18% of the population aged over 15 are smokers, and the new proposal is designed to reduce the adult smoking rate in Ireland to less than 5%.

It is estimated that smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke in Ireland kills about 4,500 people annually.

The government has stated that evidence shows that individuals are at high risk of becoming smokers between the ages of 18 and 21.

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