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Nearly €20,000 was spent on cigarettes in the Dáil bar this year

Over 1,700 packets were sold in the year to 15 October.

Image: Shutterstock/Mildenmi

OVER 1,700 PACKS of cigarettes were sold in the Dáil Bar this year, according to figures released to TheJournal.ie under the Freedom of Information Act. 

Figures from the year to 15 October show that €19,574.65 was generated by the sale of cigarettes and lighters in the facilities used by TDs, Senators and their staff at Leinster House.

The most popular brand in the Dáil Bar were Marlboro, with 498 packets sold.

Next came 390 packets of Silk Cut, 285 packs of Benson & Hedges and 243 packets of John Player.

A total of 113 lighters were also sold at a cost of €146.90.

The government has a long-stated aim of having less than 5% of the country smoking by 2025, and recent stats show that progress is being made in this regard.

Statistics from the HSE at the start of this year show that there are more people in Ireland who’ve quit smoking than smokers. 

The HSE’s latest Quit campaign has seen the publication of a new survey which shows that there are now over 1 million people in the country who’ve successfully quit smoking.

The Healthy Ireland Survey found that about 22% of Irish adults are smokers, 18% smoke on a daily basis with 4% smoking occasionally.

Further statistics later in the year said that smoking was the cause of 100 deaths and more than 1,000 hospital admissions in Ireland every week. 

The Minister of State with responsibility for Health Promotion, Catherine Byrne, said that tobacco related diseases are responsible for 6,000 deaths in Ireland every year:

The message is clear; these are preventable deaths. From the moment you stop smoking, you greatly reduce your risk of serious disease.

Junior minister Finian McGrath, meanwhile, generated a furore a couple of years ago over his stance on smoking

On RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke it was put to McGrath – who is a smoker – that in his position as a super junior minister with a responsibility disability issues there was an onus on him to kick the habit.

“My responsibility is to do my job to the best of my ability in terms of health, people with cystic fibrosis and services for people with disabilities. These are my focuses. On a private and personal level I will make an effort and that’s my position,” McGrath responded.

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Sean Murray

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