Kieran McCarthy MLA said: “I am very pleased that the Assembly has passed this motion to ensure that Northern Ireland will be included in the plain packaging legislation. I welcome this decision, but we must do more to educate our young people of the dangers that smoking poses to their health.
“Alliance believes that there is overwhelming support for plain packaging, and that the weight of evidence in terms of reducing smoking, in particular amongst young people, is very strong. It is endorsed by experts both domestically and internationally, including the British Medical Association, many cancer related charities and the World Health Organisation.
“Many countries around the world have either already introduced plain packaging or are actively considering it. This new law will be introduced in England, Scotland and Wales. A similar law will also be introduced in the Republic of Ireland. Therefore, for us to not introduce this, when all of our neighbours are doing so, would be unforgivable.”