HEALTH MINISTER JAMES Reilly has reportedly proposed increasing the price of cigarettes from just under €9 to €15 in the next six years.
The Sunday Times reports that Reilly wrote to Finance Minister Michael Noonan before last December’s Budget outlining his argument for the increase which he said was based on evidence in Spain that there was a reduction of between 5 and 7 per cent in the number of people smoking after there was a 10 per cent increase in the price of cigarettes.
But Noonan ruled out the plan because of fears it would increase cigarette smuggling which is already losing the State €250 million a year in revenue. While anti-smoking groups argue that increasing prices is the best mechanism for encouraging people not to smoke, those who advocate for smokers argue that it will only lead to more black market trade.
So we want to know what you think. Should the price of cigarettes in Ireland be increased?