Cigarette price hike welcome but more is needed-Budget 2021

By June Shannon Policy News   |   13th Oct 2020

The Irish Heart Foundation has welcomed the increase in the cost of 20 cigarettes announced in today’s budget but said the failure to introduce a new tax on e-cigarettes was disappointing

 

The Irish Heart Foundation has welcomed the 50c increase on the price of a packet of cigarettes announced today (Tuesday 13 October 2020) as part of Budget 2021, but it also warned that more must be done to put tobacco and e-cigarettes out of the price range of young people.

In its pre-budget submission, the Irish Heart Foundation had called for the phased introduction of a €20 charge for a packet of cigarettes by 2025 and a new excise tax of 6c per millilitre of e-cigarette liquid to prevent young people from becoming addicted to nicotine.

“The 50c increase on tobacco is welcome but much more needs to be done. We are disappointed that there is no taxation on e-cigarette liquid,” said Head of Advocacy with the Irish Heart Foundation, Chris Macey.

“Tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable death in Ireland with almost 6,000 smokers dying each year from tobacco-related diseases. A healthier future is contingent on discouraging smoking and taking bold action.

“The Programme for Government was explicit in the role of a targeted taxation regime to specifically discourage vaping and e-cigarettes, and there is clear evidence that tax increases on e-cigarettes are effective in reducing youth use.

" We are disappointed that there is no taxation on e-cigarette liquid,”

Chris Macey, Head of Advocacy, The Irish Heart Foundation

“The Health Research Board found a three to five times increased likelihood between e-cigarette use and initiating smoking cigarettes in adolescents.

“The smoking rate among 15-16-year-olds has been cut from 41% to 12% over a 20-year period.

“We cannot give up these hard-won health gains by allowing a new generation of children to become addicted to nicotine through an e-cigarette industry that is largely controlled by big tobacco.

“During the Covid pandemic, when our respiratory and cardiovascular health is paramount, it is disappointing that the Government failed to do more in the drive to achieve a Tobacco-Free Ireland.”

The 50c increase brings the cost of the most popular price category of cigarettes from its current level of €13.50 to €14.00.

Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke however, there is help available to support you to quit please see here

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