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People Forced To Buy Cigarettes On 'Black Market' Say Lobby Group

Jonathan Byrne
Jonathan Byrne

05:56 12 Oct 2021

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The Government shouldn't use the budget to bully people into giving up smoking, according to a smokers rights group.

50 cent has been added to the price of a 20 pack of cigarettes.

Spokesperson for Forest Ireland John Mallon says it's forcing people to buy cigarettes on the black market.

"I think that's very unfair on the shopkeepers," Mallon says.

"It's driving decent smokers into the hands of the criminal classes."

The price hike comes after retailers in Ireland expressed concerns about the black market in August.

The Retailers Against Smugglers group welcomed a Revenue seizure of 7.2 million cigarettes at Dublin Port in August.

The RAS has described the underground cigarette trade as 'very active' in the past.

John Mallon says "they can't keep hurting the smoker" in every budget.

"They do it every year," he says. "They're consistently unfair."

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