Dáil Éireann - Volume 557 - 13 November, 2002

Written Answers. - Labelling of Tobacco Products.

  153. Mr. R. Bruton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the reason there is no obligation on cigarette [544] 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 she will make a statement on the matter. [21795/02]

  Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Ms Harney): I am advised by my colleague the Minister for Health and Children that the labelling of 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 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 at the latest. The directive has been transposed in Irish Law by the Public Health (Tobacco) Act, 2002. This Act is subject to legal challenge and the directive's provisions have not yet been commenced. However, the Minister for Health and Children has written to the manufacturers and importers of tobacco products concerned requesting the required product information by 31 December.

  With regard to this information, member states shall ensure its dissemination, by any appropriate means, with a view to informing consumers. Many types of ingredients and additives are used in manufacturing tobacco products. To list all of them on packaging would necessitate very small 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 must be printed on the external area of one side of the unit packet of cigarettes.