The PRA has criticised a decision by the Irish Republic’s government to move ahead with plain packaging for tobacco products.

PRA chairman Brian Madderson commented: “We’re very disappointed to see that the Irish Government continues to move ahead with plain packaging.

“Following a thorough consultation, the UK Government recently stated there is no evidence yet to show that this policy works.

“In addition, the latest reports from Australia show that since the country introduced plain packaging, smoking hasn’t decreased, the illicit trade is on the rise and retailers are struggling as a result.

“I urge the UK and Scottish Governments to stand by their evidenced-based approach rather than follow the Irish Government in implementing policies without fully taking into consideration the detrimental consequences they will have elsewhere.”