• May 28, 2024

Poll: Irish ‘Understand’ Black Market Purchases

 Poll: Irish ‘Understand’ Black Market Purchases
Photo: Tobacco Reporter archive

An overwhelming majority of adults in Ireland think that purchasing cigarettes and tobacco from the black market or other countries is “understandable” given the high cost of tobacco sold legally domestically. 

According to a survey conducted by iReach for the smokers’ group Forest Ireland, 70 percent of adults agree that it is “somewhat understandable” (40 percent) or “very understandable” (30 percent) that smokers might choose not to buy cigarettes and tobacco from legitimate retailers in Ireland. 

That view was supported by 85 percent of smokers and two-thirds (67 percent) of non-smokers. Only one in five (20 percent) of all adults found it not understandable. 

The survey, which was conducted Sept. 24-30, also found that 65 percent of adults think the current level of tobacco duty—almost 80 percent on an average pack of cigarettes in Ireland—is either too high (22 percent), a little high (11 percent) or about right (32 percent).

Only one in four (25 percent) think tobacco duty is too low (21 percent) or a little low (4 percent). 

Forest Ireland is urging the government to reject calls to increase the tax on tobacco. In its submission ahead of next week’s Budget, the group called on Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe to “give smokers a break.”

“A further tax hike will encourage even more smokers to buy tobacco abroad or on the black market because there is very little stigma associated with such transactions,” said Forest Ireland spokesman John Mallon.