Irish Heart Foundation wants Government to raise the price of cigarettes to €20 a packet by 2025
As always, the budget should be interesting.
The Irish Heart Foundation has called on the Government to increase the price of a packet of cigarettes to at least €20 by 2025.
The rise in price is aimed at reducing the levels of smoking in Ireland.
A packet of 20 cigarettes currently costs around €13 on average.
A pro rata increase of just under €1.17 per pack would be required for each of the next six Budgets for the price to reach €20, ignoring any additional increases imposed by the tobacco industry.
The organisation also feels that this measure needs to be introduced if the Government plans on reaching the health objectives stablished in the Tobacco Free Ireland programme announced in 2013.
That initiative aimed at having fewer than 5% of the population smoking by 2025.
Irish Heart Foundation Head of Advocacy, Chris Macey, said: “Evidence shows that tax increases are the most effective way of reducing smoking rates. A dual approach that combines this with improved support for the vast majority of smokers who want to quit is vital if the Government is serious about hitting this target."
In its pre-budget 2020 submission, the Irish Heart Foundation has also called for quadrupling the funding for Quit services to €50 million a year and more Government spending on services which help smokers quit, including medications, smoking cessation services, the national Quitline and mass media campaigns.
Macey added: “There is conclusive evidence that ad campaigns and support services, such as cessation clinics, quitlines and medications can significantly increase a smoker’s motivation to quit and then their chances of kicking the habit for good.
“With our hospitals in crisis and tobacco-related illness also accounting for over 116,000 hospital outpatient appointments, 38,000 emergency department attendances and 19,000 hospital day case appointments the case for investment in these services could hardly be clearer."
New laws on the sale of tobacco and e-cigarettes are set to be introduced, which include banning the sale of tobacco products from self-service vending machines and 'locations, or events' that are intended for children.