The government of Ireland has increased the excise duty on a pack of 20 cigarettes by €0.50, reports The Irish Post. An average pack now costs €13.50 ($14.82).
Smokers’ lobby groups derided the price increase. John Mallon, spokesperson for the group Forest Ireland, described the increase as a “massive own goal” by the government.
“Ireland is already the most expensive country in Europe to buy tobacco,” he said.
The announcement has been celebrated by the Irish Cancer Society, however, which says that sharp increases in the cost of tobacco is the most effective way of getting people to quit.