Dáil Éireann - Volume 557 - 13 November, 2002

Written Answers. - Tobacco Labelling.

  236. Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Health and Children the reason there is no obli[585] gation on cigarette manufacturers to list on the package the ingredients used, in view of the many harmful ingredients in use, and the obligation on all other manufacturers of products ingested by humans to list ingredients; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21790/02]

  Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): Labelling on tobacco product packets is not regulated in the same manner as foods for human consumption which require a list of ingredients to be shown on packets and containers. Labelling on tobacco products is regulated under Directive 2001/37/EC concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco products. This directive requires manufacturers and importers of tobacco products to supply to member states a list of all ingredients, and quantities thereof, used in the manufacture of those tobacco products, by brand name and type. This information must be provided on a yearly basis and for the first time by 31 December 2002 at the latest. The directive has been transposed in Irish law by the Public Health (Tobacco) Act, 2002, however, as this Act is subject to legal challenge at the moment the provisions of the directive have not yet been commenced. Nonetheless, I have written to the manufacturers and importers of tobacco products concerned requesting the required product information by 31 December 2002.

  With regard to this information, member states shall ensure its dissemination, by any appropriate means, with a view to informing consumers. Many different types of ingredients and additives are used in manufacturing tobacco products and listing all of them on packaging would necessitate very small size print and might detract from the new larger, more visible health warnings now being displayed on packets of cigarettes. In addition to the new health warnings, the directive provides that the tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide yields of cigarettes must be printed on the external area of one side of the unit packet of cigarettes.