The Children’s Minister has made it clear he will not be buckling to pressure to stop the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes.

James Reilly was responding to a letter from one of the country’s largest tobacco firms JTI Ireland which warned they will take legal action if he does not halt the plans.

The new legislation would remove all branding from cigarette packets in an effort to deter people from buying them.

TI Ireland owns the Benson and Hedges and Silk Cut brands.

Minister Reilly is facing an Oireachtas Committee to discuss the overall issue this afternoon.

Chairman of the health sub-committee deputy Jerry Buttimer says today’s hearing is another step towards the legislation being enacted.

Arthur Beesley, Political News Editor with The Irish Times, spoke to Newstalk Breakfast this morning and he said it was an “extraordinary letter. In effect, the company appears to be instructing the Government to withdraw legislation which is before the Dáil.”

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