Retailers oppose standardised packs


Over 9,000 postcards from Irish retailers against plans to make significant changes to the Irish cigarette market have been delivered to the Department of Health today.

The retailers are protesting against plans to standardise cigarette packages, which would remove branding, as well as only permitting roll-your-own tobacco to be sold in large bags.

The postcards were delivered by three retail representative groups, Retailers Against Smuggling, Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association and the National Federation of Retail Newsagents. It took seven days to gather all signatures.

The tobacco changes would see any increase in black market trading of illegal cigarettes, according to RAS spokesman Benny Gilsenan.

“We feel that it is ludicrous that at a time when the illegal cigarette market is flourishing that the Government is considering measures that will clearly harm legitimate businesses and put Irish jobs at risk,” he said.

“If these measures are made law, almost half of the products we well will disappear from our shelves and the knock-on effect will be huge job losses in the retail sector. The measures will also mean that a whole section of otherwise law-abiding consumers would have no choice but to buy products on the black market.”

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