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The price of a packet of cigarettes is going up by 50 cent

It’s the fifth Budget in a row to see the price increase by that amount.

Image: Shutterstock

Updated at 3.01pm

THE GOVERNMENT IS increasing the tax on cigarettes as part of Budget 2021.

Excise duty on a pack of 20 cigarettes will rise by 50 cent, marking the fifth year in a row the price has increased by that amount.

There will also be a pro-rata increase on other tobacco products.

Speaking the Dáil this afternoon, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said:

This will bring the price of cigarettes in the most popular price category to €14 and supports public health policy to reduce smoking levels in our society.

Excise duty on cigarettes has been increased in the majority of Budgets over the past three decades.

Although sometimes criticised for impacting the pocket of smokers, it is generally portrayed as more of a public health measure than a tax raising initiative.

The price increase normally comes into effect at midnight the day it is announced but this has not yet been confirmed for Budget 2021.

The Irish Heart Foundation welcomed the increase, but said it didn’t go far enough, calling for a tax to be introduced on e-cigarette liquids.

“We cannot give up these hard-won health gains by allowing a new generation of children to become addicted to nicotine through an e-cigarette industry that is largely controlled by big tobacco,” the charity’s head of advocacy, Chris Macey, said in a statement.

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The charity also highlighted that smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in Ireland.

Meanwhile, Forest Ireland – a smokers’ lobby group which according to its website receives most of its through donations from UK-based tobacco companies – described it as a “kick in the teeth” for smokers.

“It will drive even more smokers to buy tobacco from the black market or abroad, and who would blame them?”

More details as we get them.

About the author:

Nicky Ryan

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