A Third of Smokers prepared to purchase illegal tobacco

A Third of Smokers prepared to purchase illegal tobacco

The recent Budget saw a further 75c in excise tax added to the price of 20 cigarettes, bringing the average price to €16.75. Government also announced that excise tax will be applied to vaping products in Budget 2025.

With prices on the black market reportedly around €5-6, it threatens the business of local retailers which has already drastically shrunk in recent years.

A recent poll commissioned by Retailers Against Smuggling found that 33% of Irish smokers are prepared to purchase illegal tobacco, with that figure as high as 50% among 18-34 year olds.

Tobacco smuggling

Up to November 1 this year Revenue have made 23 seizures of tobacco, totalling more than 51.5 million cigarettes, 6 tonnes of rolling tobacco and 312kg of raw tobacco. The value of these seizures is € 45,458,030 and represents a loss to the Exchequer of € 35,317,850.

The Minister for Finance Michael McGrath has stated that there are only three mobile scanners available to Revenue for scanning containers coming into the country’s ports. While the mobile units can be deployed to any port or warehouse throughout the country, these resources lack the capacity to adequately monitor the 1.2 million freight vehicles and trailers passing through the three main Irish ports alone in 2022.

Retailers Against Smuggling (RAS) commends the ongoing work by Revenue officials in the fight against smuggling, particularly at our major points of entry through ports and airports. However, the issue of tobacco smuggling remains a huge threat for registered and legitimate tobacco retailers whose legal cigarette trade can account for 20–30% of their business.

RAS encourages anyone with information on the sale or supply of illegal cigarettes and tobacco to contact Revenue’s confidential hotline. Free phone number 1800 295 295