The number of cigarettes sold in Ireland has dropped by nearly a quarter over the past five years, according to a report. It’s 15 years since Ireland became a world leader overnight when the first workplace smoking ban was introduced.
And a new report by Euromonitor International has revealed the country is continuing to see steady drops in the sale of cigarettes over the past five years. The new Euromonitor figures reveal Irish people smoked their way through 736 cigarettes or nearly 37 packets per capita in 2013.
However, the number has now fallen to 559 single cigarettes or nearly 28 packets per capita in 2018 – which makes Ireland 100th in the world when it comes to smoking. Gibraltar is a mecca for tourists looking to buy cheap cigarettes and the territory is No 1 when it comes to cigarette sales per capita.
The second highest smokers are the population of the tiny African country of Sao Tomé e Principe with just over 368 packets or 20 cigarettes sold per capita in 2018. Andorra and Luxembourg were third and fourth when it came to the sale of cigarettes in 2018.
Other heavy smoking countries in the top 10 included Slovenia, Serbia, the Czech Republic, Albania and Georgia. The latest Euromonitor International report on smoking in Ireland 2019 said the public health authorities in Ireland remain committed to the country’s Tobacco Free Ireland action plan.
This aims to reduce overall smoking prevalence in the country to 5% by 2025. The report said:
The plan builds on existing tobacco control measures and regulations and contains more than 60 recommendations to further discourage smoking and protect public health
The report said plain packaging is believed to be having little effect on tobacco volume sale.
The report also pointed out that another aspect of the European Union’s revised Tobacco Products Directive is the establishment of an EU-wide track and trace system to address the issue of illicit trade, with this set to be introduced in 2019.
“The traceability system will involve all tobacco packs being marked with a unique identifier and all relevant operators involved in tobacco trade being required to record the movement of these packs throughout the supply chain and transmit the related information to an independent provider”, the report said.
It noted there are three main players in the cigarette industry in Ireland.
“In 2018, cigarettes in Ireland continued to be led the Japan Tobacco subsidiary Gallaher (Dublin), which further strengthened the gap between itself and second-placed John Player & Sons, with the only other notable company in the category being PJ Carroll & Co.
“Although all three manufacturers suffered a drop in volume sales due to falling smoking prevalence and the general ongoing decline of the tobacco industry in Ireland, Gallaher once again posted the weakest contraction,” the report said. It also said that roll-your-own tobacco has become more popular.