Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now

James Reilly wants cigarettes to cost €1 each

The Health Minster says he would like to see a situation where cigarettes are a euro each.

James Reilly
James Reilly
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

HEALTH MINISTER JAMES Reilly wants to see an increase in the price of cigarettes every year for the next five years so that people “think long and hard before they drag long and hard”.

Reilly said today that he would continue to fight “the scourge of tobacco” even if he is reshuffled out of the Department of Health next week as is widely expected.

The minister’s ‘war on tobacco’ has been widely praised with plans for Ireland to become one of the few countries in the world to introduce plain packaging provided it can overcome legal challenges from tobacco companies.

Speaking this morning, Reilly said he would ultimately like to see a situation where each cigarette costs €1. A standard packet of 20 cigarettes currently costs between €9.40 and €9.60.

Health Minister James Reilly in Dublin this morning 

He said that the euro-a-cigarette policy is not one he would expect to see immediately in the October budget but outlined how he would like to see it introduced incrementally.

Making a difference

A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article.

Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can make sure we can keep reliable, meaningful news open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.

“What I would love to see in a budget is a five-year plan that they’re going to go up incrementally every year, year-on-year, over the next five years,” Reilly said.

“So people who are smoking get the very strong message that this is just becoming more and more unaffordable and it’s killing me.

“‘It’s hurting my pocket and it’s hurting my health. Why am I doing it?’”

He said that his fight against tobacco goes back to his time before politics and “will continue long after my time in politics”

Reilly: More shops need to stop selling sweets and chocolates at checkouts

Read: James Reilly vs tobacco industry: Stop making smoking look attractive to girls

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

Read next: