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By: Ambrand  05/12/2011

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The board of the Office of Tobacco Control (OTC) says it “welcoms the Government’s decision to merge the OTC into the HSE in 2011 as part of the Government’s ongoing rationalisation programme.”

The OTC’s Chairperson, Norma Cronin, said that this move will “ensure that Ireland’s ongoing work to create a tobacco-free society – in which Ireland is a world leader – will stay at the heart of public health.”

Well if that is the case why was the OTC established as a seperate entity in the first place?

Well who wanted to keep Tobacco at arms lenght when the OTC was established? Well everyone I suppose, its a substance that while being legal is most unfashionable.

Well the OTC now falls under the umbrella of the HSE, but its still ok for the Minister for Health, as the HSE - itself a QUANGO of sorts - it at arms lenght from the Department of Health.

But on a more serious note, in fairness to the powers that be…

“In March 2004, Ireland became the first country in the world to successfully introduce smoke-free workplaces legislation which has already conferred huge health and environmental benefits on the population as a whole. Many countries across the world have looked to Ireland as an example and have since followed suit.”

and that single decision, often forgotten, is a credit to the Government.

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