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Dublin: 17 °C Saturday 24 June, 2017
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Heard of 'Black Mount' and 'Jim's' cigarettes? They're available on the Irish black market...

Around two thirds of black market cigarettes in Ireland are ‘illicit whites’.

Image: Shutterstock/Edyta Pawlowska

A NEW SURVEY has found that two thirds of all cigarettes for sale illegally in Dublin are manufactured specifically for the black market.

In the test purchase exercise, carried out on behalf of tobacco manufacturer Philip Morris International, it was found that these brands, known as ‘illicit whites’, made up the bulk of black market trading.

The company carries outs research in the area of the consumption of black market cigarettes around the EU. Speaking in 2013, Artyom Chernis, a representative from the company said, “The black market for tobacco is bad for business and bad for communities across the EU.”

In the course of carrying out the test purchase, a number of brands that had not appeared on the market in the UK or Ireland before were found. These included:

  • President,
  • M&J,
  • Black Mount, and,
  • Jim’s

The study was carried out by a number expert investigators, in a team headed by Detective Chief Superintendent, Kevin Donohoe, and former Scotland Yard Detective Chief Inspector, Will O’Reilly.

Speaking about the find, Donohoe said, “While this study provides just a snap shot of the illegal tobacco trade, our operatives purchased various products with relative ease throughout many parts of the city.

“The illegal trade is well organised, providing large profits for those involved, who are primarily highly organised criminal networks.”

In a statement sent out by the tobacco company it states that the illicit trade of tobacco undermines key public policy concerns in the area and undermines “the core purposes of the regulatory initiatives to reduce tobacco usage.”

In the coming months a more comprehensive test-purchase study will be carried out across Ireland.

Recently, a Eurobarometer survey found that around 21% of people smoke in Ireland, compared to a European average of 26%.

Read: Canada has told tobacco firms to pay smokers over €11 billion

Also: How do Ireland’s smoking levels compare with Europe? Pretty good actually

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