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smoking ban

Wea ll know smoking is a terrible habit, but it's still normalised in Irish society. 

In Hawaii, however, there are already some very strict laws regarding cigarette sales, and a proposed new law could see the legal age to be able to purchase cigarettes raised to 100. 

Democratic state representative Richard Creagan is highly anti-smoking, and a law he has proposed would essentially eradicate legalised cigarette sales on the island

Creagan is proposing raising the cigarette-buying age to 30 by next year.

The following year, the legal age would be raised to 40. 

In 2022 the legal age would be 50, and  2023. 

This phasing out will see the legal age jump to 100 in 2024, essentially banning the sale and purchasing. 

'Basically, we essentially have a group who are heavily addicted — in my view, enslaved by a ridiculously bad industry — which has enslaved them by designing a cigarette that is highly addictive, knowing that it highly lethal. And, it is,' Creagan told The Hawaii Tribune Herald.

Currently, the legal age to purchase cigarettes is 21 in Hawaii. 

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It looks like the smoking ban may be introduced to outdoor areas where food is served. It is understood that the Government hope to make changes to the ban which was initially introduced in 1988, which stopped people from smoking in public buildings and buses.

In 2004, the government placed a ban on smoking in the workplace, and now 14 years later they hope to do the same for outdoor areas that serve food.

Members of Fine Gael have asked Minister for Health Simon Harris to consider the change of legislation.

James Reilly, who is the former minister for health, recommended the change in legislation. He believes that it is unacceptable for people to smoke in the same place where others are eating food.

During an interview on RTÉ's Today with Sean O'Rourke show, he said,  “Anyone spending their hard-earned money in a restaurant or café should be entitled to enjoy their meal in a smoke-free environment.”

He explained that people struggle to enjoy their meals outdoors, especially when the weather is nice, due to the excess number of people smoking.

Ireland has made strong progress since introducing smoking bans, however, Mr Reilly said they have had a knock-on effect. The former minister for health stressed the importance of banning people from smoking in the same area where people are eating.

He said, “While our smoking ban was a really progressive move and lauded internationally, unfortunately, one of the unintended consequences has been the prevalence of smokers in the outdoor areas of bars, cafés and restaurants.”

Do you agree with extending the smoking ban to outdoor areas where food is served?

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Remember when the legal age to buy cigarettes in Ireland was just 16?! If you're over 25, you may remember when smoking in school toilets at secondary school was the norm.

It seems ludicrous now, but until March 2002, a 16-year-old could buy tobacco products easily. These days, things have changed for the better!

Ireland has always led the way in anti-smoking policies, becoming the first country to make smoking in the workplace illegal, in 2004.

Subsequently, Irish pubs became smoke-free, as smokers were banished to designated smoking areas. Although there were complaints at the time, the legislation worked, and our pubs are now much more pleasant places.

Packets of 10 cigarettes were abolished in 2009, to discourage young people from buying the smaller, cheaper packets.

Tax on cigarettes has steadily increased also, leading to a higher retail price.

The average price of 20 cigarettes is now €11 – more expensive than ever.

With a packet costing more than one hour's minimum wage, it's not an affordable habit for most young people – or anyone on a low income!

There are better ways to spend your money than watching it go up in smoke…literally!

Donal Buggy, Head of Services and Advocacy from the Irish Cancer Society, says: "We do know increasing the price of cigarettes through taxation works, it's been proven globally."

"But we still need a combination of measures to tackle smoking, including education and limiting availability."

He explains that taxing cigarettes is not an easy target for revenue: "The Department of Health produced a report in 2013 that proves tobacco is costing us more than what revenue can collect."

When James Reilly became Minister for Health, he aimed to make Ireland smoke-free by 2025. This will be "really challenging", according to Donal Buggy.

He explains that preventing young people from taking up smoking is crucial: "85 percent of smokers start before the age of 18. If we can significantly reduce the number of smokers under 18, it would be an improvement."

"There has already been a 10 percent reduction in school-age children, which is great."

A plan for plain packaging on tobacco products is expected to be enforced by May of this year, devoid of imagery and marketing apart from the brand name

And those gruesome photos of tumours on the packet? They're yet another public measure to deter people from taking up the disgusting habit. 

TV ads and even shop displays advertising tobacco products are now illegal. In 2014, a bill was passed to ban smoking in a private car where children are present.

Quitting the deadly habit requires tremendous willpower and determination. The HSE offers a free service, QUIT.ie, to provide help and support to those who want to quit smoking for good. They also run campaigns to deter would-be smokers from starting.

Quit.ie says smoking places an enormous strain our health services, with over 5,000 Irish people dying annually from the effects of smoking.

We can't ignore the sober reality- one in two Irish smokers will die of a tobacco-related disease. 

Those who are attempting to stop smoking are more successful when they have a plan and support in place. For more information, check out QUIT.ie.

Smokers with a medical card can avail of free nicotine replacement aids to help them quit.

We're lucky to live in a country which puts health first, and the smoking ban definitely did that!

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In a move which has made countless headlines this morning, the government in Finland have announced that they plan to make the Nordic country 'cigarette-free' by 2030.

Officials initially understood that it would be 2040 before the goal could be properly realised, but new legislation indicates that the aims can be achieved over the course of the next 13 years.

The country is known for its limited tolerance towards cigarettes. Having banned the advertisement of nicotine products back in 1978, Finland then went on to ban smoking in the workplace in 1995 before implementing a ban in bars and restaurants in 2007.

With their 2030 goal in mind, the Nordic version of Business Insider reports that housing associations will enforce smoking bans on balconies as well as yards belonging to the housing complex.

It is understood that capsule cigarettes which activate a taste such as menthol or blackcurrant when squeezed will be receiving an outright ban.

Further to this, retailers will be charged for selling nicotine products and considering the increase in cost, this will render the endeavour almost non-profitable for retailers.

 

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We’ve all heard about the negative effects of smoking and passive smoking; most notably, the development of cancer.

Passive smoking has always been considered to be just as bad as actual smoking, which has been a driving force in bringing in smoking bans.

However, it’s been revealed that evidence claiming passive smoking is dangerous is actually inconsistent.

Nearly ten years after Ireland introduced the first workplace smoking ban, the latest report on the lung cancer risks of passive smoking contradict previous research.

Apparently, “exposure to passive smoking overall, and to most individual categories of passive smoking, did not significantly increase lung-cancer risk.”

However, if you live with a smoker, you may be in trouble as the report “shows a trend of increased risk was living in the same house with a smoker for 30 years or more”.

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