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CSNA: ‘Personal Use’ Tobacco Customs Regulations Will ’Subvert’ Plain Packaging Legislation

The Convenience Stores & Newsagents Association (CSNA) has written to the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, calling for action to address the level of tobacco that travellers into Ireland can carry with them ‘for personal use’.

Following the passing of the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Bill, the CSNA has told the Minister that “allowing the importation for personal consumption for a product that is packaged in a way that has been considered unsafe for Irish smokers to purchase within the State should not be granted the levels of access that the existing Regulations permit.”

As Ireland is the only EU country to have approved plain packaging regulations, any imported product would carry “the presence of colours that the Oireachtas have described as a ‘mobile billboard’ used by the tobacco industry to seduce and entice children into smoking initiation”, the CSNA said in its letter.

In addition, it would widen the “availability of non-conforming packs which have been considered by the Oireachtas to be part of a campaign by the tobacco industry to attract smokers.”

Currently, there is ‘no reduced limit’ on the number of cigarettes an individual can carry, provided there are for that individual’s ‘personal use’.

The CSNA noted that even if lower levels of 800 cigarettes, 1kg of tobacco and 400 cigars were enforced at customs, the “nature of the goods […] will have the effect of subverting the stated outcome/desire of the Department of Health and those of the State”.

© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones

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