News Releases
Ireland: Tobacco tax hike will “drive more smokers to the black market”

Campaigners have slammed the announcement by Finance Minister Michael McGrath of an excise tax hike of 75c on a pack of 20 cigarettes, bringing the price to €16.75.

John Mallon, spokesman for the smokers’ lobby group Forest Ireland, said:

“Smokers don’t deserve this. Annual tax hikes on tobacco are punishing consumers for enjoying a perfectly legitimate habit.

“Not only does it discriminate against consumers on lower incomes, it will drive even more smokers to the black market.”

He added:

“Excise duty on tobacco was already at punitive levels. Raising it again by 75c is a spiteful attack on law-abiding consumers.

“Legitimate retailers will lose business to criminal gangs, and smokers who stay within the law will be further punished compared to those who, understandably, buy their tobacco from illicit traders.”

Simon Clark

Mission & Vision



Forest’s mission is to protect the interests of adults who choose to smoke or consume tobacco.


Our key aims and objectives are to:

  • counteract the “denormalisation” of smoking, and smokers
  • prevent further restrictions on the purchase and consumption of tobacco
  • establish closer links with other tobacco-friendly groups at home and abroad
  • build support among consumers of tobacco and other similarly threatened groups
  • highlight the increasingly intrusive nature of Big Government in the lives of private individuals