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Kathleen Quinlan Director of Communications Office of Tobacco Control Ireland.

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Presentation on theme: "Kathleen Quinlan Director of Communications Office of Tobacco Control Ireland."— Presentation transcript:

1 Kathleen Quinlan Director of Communications Office of Tobacco Control Ireland

2 Going Smoke-free: The Irish Experience Kathleen Quinlan Director of Communications and Education

3 Background to Smoke Free Workplace Legislation Oireachtas/Parliamentary Inquiry Joint Parliamentary committee – All party Comprehensive national anti- smoking strategy “Non-smokers should not be the involuntary victims of ETS” “A prohibition on smoking … is essential to protect the health of staff … as well as … customers ” Reports – 1999 & 2001

4 Tobacco Free Policy Review Group Report published Policy Report adopted as Government policy Seven Tier Action Plan Interim Office of Tobacco Control Prepare legislation 2000

5 Seven Tier Action Plan Better Communication and Education More Help for Smokers to Quit Tougher Regulation of Tobacco Industry Further Protection from Passive Smoking (ETS) Better Compliance with the Law Extending Ownership International Co-operation

6 What is the smoke free workplace legislation? Public Health (Tobacco) Acts – S47 as amended by S16 29 March 2004 Offence for a person to smoke in a specified place which includes a place of work Owner, manager or other person in charge each guilty of an offence where there is a contravention of law Maximum fine €3,000 (£2,000 Stg.) Defence if a person can show they made all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance Limited exemptions (based on “private dwelling” and outdoor areas) but duty of care and general health and safety obligations still apply Section 46 provides for mandatory signage – name of person in charge, name to whom complaints can be made

7 Public Information Campaign Informed public of new law Rationale Date of implementation Lo-call compliance line


9 Irish Times 29-03-05Mirror 09-08-04Irish Examiner 07-07-04 Star 15-07-05 Irish Examiner 29-03-05 Meath Weekender 09-04-05 Star 07-01-05 Irish Times 14-07-04

10 Public Awareness and Support Smoke-free workplace law continues to enjoy widespread public support and high levels of compliance. Overwhelming public acceptance of the health reasons for the law. Support strong at outset and grows –67% support before the law –89% success – after introduction (independent research June ‘ 04) –82% support (Dept. of Health research July ‘ 04) –Voted no. 1 “ high ” of 2004 – RTE National New Year ’ s Poll

11 Overwhelming support –98% believe workplaces are healthier (inc. 94% of smokers) –96% think the law is a success (inc. 89% of smokers) –93% think it is a good idea (inc. 80% of smokers) –81% thought publicans should comply with the law including 60% of smokers TNS mrbi polls

12 Enforcement Public Health (Tobacco) Acts 2002 and 2004 The national inspection programme Environmental Health Officers of the Health Service Executive are the authorised officers Inspections carried out under a series of protocols developed by OTC

13 Compliance/Guidance Employers / Managers Licensed Trade “ make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance”


15 Lo call smoke free Compliance line Lo-call number Empower people so they have effective route through which to register their concerns/ complaints Aims to offer additional support to building and maintaining compliance with the legislation Automatic referral to enforcements officers Highlight problem areas


17 Compliance very high nationally 2004 - 35, 957 inspections 94% compliant 2005 - 35,042 inspections 95% compliant


19 Prosecutions 2004 Enforcement critical to an effective inspection programme 13 cases taken in 2004 12 Licensed premises 1 Taxi operator 3 to persons smoking In 5 cases a vigorous defence was presented in court and in each of these cases the EHO was cross-examined in detail

20 Prosecutions 2005 -38 cases taken, 37 successful - 32 licensed premises - 4 taxi companies - 1 retail shop - 5 against persons smoking

21 Vigilance still necessary Active enforcement a highly effective and necessary tool in tobacco control Review of case statistics to date shows that where breaches occur EHOs will prosecute once evidence is secured

22 Success factors Consistent proactive communication Public well informed about law & rationale –key message: positive health protection – illness from second- hand smoke in workplace is preventable Built confidence that law was workable, enforceable and would be implemented Prepared for counter arguments with evidence based response –Research – scientific, attitudinal, economic…

23 Success factors Sustained political leadership/commitment –Cross party support Partnership –Office of Tobacco Control –Dept. of Health and Children –Health Service Executive –Health and Safety Authority

24 Success Factors Broad based, active engagement of civil society (20+ groups) –NGO’s Irish Cancer Society Irish Heart Foundation ASH –Environmental Health Officer Association –Health and medical community –Trade unions “Pro Health Lobby”

25 Success factors Comprehensive law with few exemptions –Easier to enforce, applies equally to all premises, obligations understood Well prepared implementation –Guidance and support materials (OTC, DOHC steering group, etc.) –Partnership approach to compliance building with business owners/managers (EHO’s) Implementation resources


27 ‘Towards a Tobacco Free Society’ The Office will continue to carry out its statutory obligation of implementing and managing the Government’s tobacco control policy by actively pursuing its objectives with sustained multi-faceted programmes building on the success of smoke free workplaces and public awareness of the harm caused by tobacco drawing guidance from the WHO FCTC helping smokers to quit ensuring compliance with existing and new tobacco control laws focusing on protecting children

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