The Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Bill passed through its final stage of the Oireachtas last night, but not before Senator John Crown issued bold claims about the illicit tobacco industry.
"I am not even a little concerned about an increase in illegal sales," he told the Seanad. "People who study this know that most of the product which is sold illegally is product that is manufactured legally. It is the companies' product, not some type of counterfeit, knock-off product.
"All of this craw-thumping, hypocritical breast beating we are hearing from the companies on the issue of smuggling does not resonate true."
In addition, Senator Crown claimed that tobacco firms "love smuggling, because the smuggled product is cheap and it is a cheaper way to hook children on cigarettes. They will do anything to make cheaper product available."
Responding, Senator David Norris said that efforts by tobacco firms to challenge the legislation are a "monstrous and impertinent intrusion into the proper working of democracy, and those people should be thoroughly ashamed."
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones