This, of course, is sheer nonsense, as journalist Dan MacGuill says on his blog...
In case you didn’t already know, using snus does NOT involve cutting your gums. That’s a complete fiction – passed on as fact by a trained doctor, to a committee responsible for performing due diligence on Ireland’s public health legislation.
But what’s even worse about this clip is what the minister does NOT say: Sweden has by far the EU’s lowest tobacco-related mortality rates among men.
And several studies (here and here) have concluded that this is precisely because snus is legally available and prevalent there, which is not the case elsewhere on the continent.
It's never easy to say with certainty whether people in the 'public health' racket are lying or merely incompetent. The same is often true of politicians. Since Reilly is in both camps, he could either be a massive fraud or a massive idiot. Or both.
On this occasion, if Reilly knew that what he was saying was a lie, he must have expected to be called out on it, so I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and call him an unbelievably ignorant thicko who doesn't know the first thing about the one subject to which he has dedicated his career, rather than a conscious deceiver and fraud.
Either way, he's not a fit person to be making laws, which explains why Ireland has some of the most idiotic and counter-productive tobacco control legislation in the world. Despite having the worst problem with black market tobacco in western Europe, they've recently announced plans to introduce plain packaging. Guess who was the driving force behind the policy?