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EU Commissioner Backs Irish Smoking Ban 

Jump to full article: Reuters Health, 2003-08-04


Irish plans to stamp out smoking in public places were backed on Monday by the European Union 's (EU) top health official, who also accused the tobacco industry of aiming products at youth.

The ban, proposed by Irish Health Minister Micheal Martin, would take effect from early 2004 despite fears from the bar and restaurant industry that profits will be hit.

"Are we going to put into the balance the health of the public against profits? I am sure the population of Ireland and other places in the EU (don't) want (that)," said Health and Consumer Affairs Commissioner David Byrne, who is Irish.

"I believe the tobacco industry is manipulating and misleading people and targeting young people and adolescents because they realize that if they get them young, they're hooked," he told a news conference at the 12th World Conference on Tobacco or Health in the Finnish capital.

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