Call for €2 increase in price of cigarettes

 

The Irish Cancer Society has called for a €2 increase in the price of a packet of cigarettes to be introduced in the forthcoming emergency budget.

The group says the call is supported by anti-tobacco group Ash Ireland and the Irish Heart Foundation.

They say a €2 increase would generate up to €420 million in Government revenue for the State .

Speaking on this issue John McCormack, CEO, Irish Cancer Society said "We are not proposing this price increase without due consideration and would not be asking for it unless it was going to make a real difference in the fight against cancer and all the other smoking related illness".

Dr Angie Brown, Chairperson, ASH echoed Mr McCormack; "Price is widely recognised as the single most important factor in encouraging smokers to quit and discouraging young people from experimenting with tobacco".

It can be estimated that our health services spend well over a billion euro each year on treating tobacco related illness so if we reduce prevalence we not just save lives, we also reduce the massive unnecessary cost of treating all of the varied and related illnesses, she added.

The Slan Survey of Lifestyle, Attitudes & Nutrition in Ireland showed that 29 per cent of the Irish population smoked in 2007, up from 27 per cent in 2002.