If you would like to submit a contribution to our Readers Blog section then follow this link. Be sure to include your full name, address and contact number otherwise your submission will not be considered for publication. We will contact you prior to publication.

Smoking out the facts and figures

You reported, last Friday (July 18), the claim by the Irish Cancer Society (ICS) that the rate of tobacco smuggling is falling, and that this should enable the Government to increase tax on cigarettes.

The ICS claims that the illicit trade has fallen by 1%. This is far below the margin of error, for cigarette surveys, of 2.4%, in 2013, as told to the Dáil recently by the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, so the ICS claim cannot be substantiated.

The Revenue Commissioners and the Minister for Finance have regularly stated that increased duty on cigarettes will lead to a greater illicit trade.

An in-house Revenue report published in 2011, and available on the Revenue website, concludes: “higher cigarette taxes in Ireland will no longer produce a win-win situation of public health benefits (lower rates of smoking) and benefits to the public finances (higher levels of tax revenue). More likely, it appears that in the Irish market for cigarettes, as it currently stands, a tax increase will reduce revenue, but only have a lesser impact on tobacco consumption by encouraging further substitution away from taxed cigarettes.”

The ICS should take careful note.

Joe Sweeney


Donaghmede Shopping Centre

Dublin 13


Keep chomping on those carrots so your eyes will be in perfect working order for that prolonged annual gaze through the keyhole as Home of the Year returns for a sixth series next week.Home of the Year offers a good excuse for a bit of good-natured interiors voyeurism

They differ from the more prevalent oranges we eat because their flesh, and often the skin, is crimson or deep red in colour.Michelle Darmody: The best time of year to buy blood oranges

The annual Members Exhibition now underway at the Lavit Gallery in Cork features 92 works from 72 artists.The exhibition runs until March 7.Under the hammer: Your guide to upcoming auctions

There’s an oriental theme at the James Adam ‘At Home’ auction in Dublin, says Des O’SullivanAuctions: Sale full of eastern promise

More From The Irish Examiner