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Consumption Of ‘Illicit Whites’ Rises 57% Between 2012 And 2013
15 July 2014
Consumption of ‘illicit whites’, illegal cigarettes manufactured for the sole purpose of being smuggled, rose by 57% between 2012 and 2013 in Ireland, a KPMG study has found.
The study, which was financed by the four main tobacco manufacturers, BAT, Imperial, JTI and PMI, found that one in five cigarettes smoked in Ireland was illegal, a share that has increased, despite a fall in the overall consumption of cigarettes.
The illicit market increased as share of consumption from 19.1% in 2012 to 21.12% in 2013, bucking EU trends. This was fuelled by the increase in illicit whites.
“The illegal cigarette trade in Ireland remains stubbornly high, now double the EU average, with a massive increase in illicit whites, a trend also seen in Australia where plain packaging has been accompanied by 151% increase in this kind of illegal branded cigarette,” said Eoin Dardis of Philip Morris.
Overall, across Europe, 58.6 billion illegal cigarettes were consumed in the EU; a figure that is equivalent to the total legal cigarette markets of Spain and Portugal combined, and represents a total tax revenue loss of €10.9 billion.
The study found that Ireland ranks third in Europe in terms of ‘counterfeit and contraband’ cigarette consumption, behind Latvia (27.1% of total cigarette consumption) and Lithuania (28.8% of total cigarette consumption).
In addition, Ireland ranks sixth in Europe terms of consumption of non-domestic legal cigarettes, i.e. tobacco that is purchased through duty-free in other countries. 7.2% of total cigarette consumption in this country falls into this category. The study found that Marlboro was the most popular non-domestic legal brand in Ireland.

Government “should consider banning cigarette sales after 6pm”?
Apr 3, 2014
Hugh O’Connell
An Oireachtas Committee has produced a detailed and wide-ranging report on the proposal to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes.
CONSIDERATION SHOULD BE given to banning the sale of cigarettes after 6pm, a cross-party report by TDs and Senators has recommended.
The Oireachtas Health Committee has this afternoon published its report on the Public Health Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Bill 2013 – legislation proposed by the government which aims to introduce plain packaging on tobacco products.
The 1,100-page report contains 26 recommendations including that the legislation should have a provision for the standardisation of packaging and that inner packaging of cigarettes should have the same colour as the outside of a pack.
It has also proposed that a levy on tobacco companies be considered to offset the healthcare costs of treating smokers for illnesses – a so-called ‘polluter pays’ levy.
The report also suggests that the Minister for Health James Reilly should consider introducing limits on the hours in which tobacco products can be sold so that, for example, they could not be sold between 7am and 9am and could not be sold after 6pm.
The report also says that consideration should be given to prohibiting the sale of cigarettes in pubs and clubs, a measure that was supported at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis in February.
The regulation of e-cigarettes should also be considered as should the setting up of a phone line for people to report those who are not compliant with the legislation and regulations.
The report also says that nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) should be more widely available, including at retail outlets where tobacco products are sold.
Health Minister James Reilly welcomed the publication of the report saying that it would aid the preparation of legislation as well inform the defence against what he said would be “the inevitable challenge of the tobacco companies” to the law.
The National Federation of Retail Newsagents criticised the report today, saying it does not address “the fact that growth in the illicit trade will follow the introduction of plain packaging”.
It cited research in Australia which, it claimed, showed that the introduction of plain packaging had shown consumption of illicit tobacco has grown by 12.7 per cent in just 12 months.

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