Smokers hit, drinkers given free rein

| October 13, 2016

The price of a pack of cigarettes in Ireland is rising again following the October 11 budget that increased excise tax by €0.50 on a pack of 20, according to stories by Conall Ó Fátharta in the Irish Examiner and by Conor Pope in the Irish Times.

It is the fifth year in a row that the tax on cigarettes has been increased.

Donal Buggy, head of services and advocacy at the Irish Cancer Society was quoted as saying that the price increase sent a strong signal to the tobacco industry that the government was serious in its aim to achieve a tobacco-free Ireland.

The government aims to reduce smoking prevalence below five percent by 2025.

The Irish Vape Vendors Association (IVVA) said that in order to reduce the level of death and disease caused by smoking, harm reduction policies, such as those recently introduced in Britain, had to be considered.

“In England, in particular, there’s a shift towards encouraging the use of vaping as a substitute for smoking lit tobacco and the rewards for that fresh thinking are beginning to show,” said IVVA administrator Gillian Golden.

Forest Ireland spokesman John Mallon said if the government were serious about reducing the number of smokers, it would introduce subsidies for electronic cigarettes.

There was no increase in alcohol duty in the budget, but the director of the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland, Ross Mac Mathúna, described the decision not to reduce the excise on alcohol as a “missed opportunity”.

Category: Breaking News

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