Plain packaging on cigarettes will cost jobs, retailers say

Plain packaging on cigarettes will cost jobs, retailers say

Retailers are appealing to the government to row back on new proposals which will see plain packaging being introduced on packets of cigarettes.

The new proposals from Minister for Health James Reilly will make it illegal to have colourful or unique branding, in an attempt to curb underage smoking.

However, retailers have slammed the idea, saying it will lead to a surge in smuggling across the country, which is costing the Exchequer €570m euro a year.

Benny Gilsenan, a shop owner on Emmet Street in Dublin, said the proposal will hurt shop-owners and cost jobs.

"There is, on average, around 4,000 retailers who sell cigarettes in this country. Everyone of them will be shedding at least two, and maybe three staff," he claimed.

Separately, more than 10 million illegal cigarettes were seized at Dublin Port, valued at €4.6m.

The 'Gold Classic' branded cigarettes were found in an unaccompanied 40-foot container, which arrived on a ferry from Rotterdam.

An investigation is now underway.

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