Home > Tobacco taxation, smuggling and smoking in Ireland.

Reed, Howard (2011) Tobacco taxation, smuggling and smoking in Ireland. Dublin: Irish Heart Foundation.

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In 2011, the Irish Heart Foundation commissoned Landman Economics to assess the future impact of tax increases on smoking rates and the illicit trade in tobacco.

The study shows that a €1 tax increase on a packet of 20 cigarettes would bring in €68 million in extra receipts and a further €28 million in indirect public finance benefits.

Such an increase would also result in some 30,000 people quitting smoking in Ireland.

Given that roughly one in two smokers ultimately die from the habit, this single action would help up to 15,000 people countrywide to live longer.

In addition to a price increase, the report recommends:
A Government commitment to a price escalator whereby tobacco taxes rise by a certain amount each year in future budgets (for example, 5 percent per year above inflation).
Expenditure on anti-smuggling operations such as enforcement and supply chain control should be increased by around €8 million per year. This would match per capita spending in the UK where smuggling has been reduced from 21% to 12% despite regular tax increases above inflation. A similar reduction here would bring in around €130 million of extra revenue to the Exchequer per year.

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