A tobacco industry spokesperson has told Retail Intelligence that the fact that nine EU member states have submitted formal written objections to the Irish government's plain packaging legislation, indicates "it is likely that considerable question marks about its legality are now emanating from some of our European neighbors."
Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Greece, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria all issued 'Detailed Opinions' on the proposed legislation before the cut-off point last Thursday, following which the European Commission has three months to assess the objections before making its recommendations on the issue.
"The sheer number of objections indicates the scale of the concern about plain packaging among our EU neighbors," the spokesperson told RI.
Yesterday, former Health Minister James Reilly, who spearheaded the plain packaging proposals, called for an increase in excise duty on cigarettes in the forthcoming Budget.
He told the Irish Indepdendent, "Clearly I'd like to see the price of cigarettes go up again, because I think they are price sensitive, and I know that the more expensive they are, the less people will smoke them."
Prior to the Dáil's summer break, Finance Minister Michael Noonan indicated that he was opposed to the idea of any further tobacco excise increase, highlighting Revenue Commissioners research that suggested "that further cigarette price increases, particularly at the higher end of the range, are unlikely to increase excise receipts from the sale of cigarettes."
© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones