James Reilly (August 16th, 1955 - ) is an Irish politician and doctor. Between July 11, 2014 and the May 6, 2016, he was the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. Although in a good place occupationally, he is known for his controversial attitudes and actions against the tobacco industry and smokers. He has branded the tobacco industry as "evil" and claims that they target and influence children and has even declared "war" on them.
In 2015, he carried out one of his most controversial actions by making Ireland the second country in the world to introduce plain packaging for tobacco products after Australia.
Fight against Tobacco Industry
Reilly is arguably Ireland's most fanatical anti-smoking crusader. He plans to make Ireland a smoke-free country by 2025, trying many tactics in order to do so, such as introducing plain packaging and trying to extremley limit the tobacco industry with their products by banning flavoured and superslim cigarettes. Part of his reason behind this is his father and brother both dying from smoking related diseases.
He is extremely controlling over the tobacco indsutry and smokers alike, and has been known to display a high level of dishonesty in attempting to convince people he is right in doing so.
In 2015, Reilly campaigned for plain packaging to be introduced in Ireland, manipulating and brainwashing many into supporting the policy. He took a defiant attitude to the threats of legal action from the tobacco industry of product infringement, disregarding the potential increase in counterfeiting that is likely to result from plain packaging.
The law was passed and Reilly remained confident that his new legislation would have a positive impact on health and he was ready for a lawsuit by the tobacco industry. However, it is likely that Reilly will end up landing Ireland in a heavy lawsuit due to his attitude, and has been well aware of this but insisted on taking a defiant approach.