Counterfeit cigarette packs ‘so good’ professionals can’t tell the difference


The Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Bill 2013 was discussed by the Oireachtas today with a focus on the impact it could have on the black market.

“THE POORER YOU are the more likely you are to have your life destroyed by cigarettes.”

Those were the words of Sinn Féin TD Sandra McLellan at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children this morning.

The all-party group met this morning to discuss plain packaging on cigarettes and the effects it may have on children and smokers if introduced.

TDs and Senators were joined by representatives from the An Garda Síochána and the Revenue Commissioners.

McLellan told the hearing that there is “a definite correlation of socio-economic groups”  when it comes to smoking.

Meanwhile, Labour TD Ciara Conway wanted to know if plain package cigarettes “will it make it easier to counterfeit?”

Those opposed to the move have argued that only the black market will benefit with one group, Forest, claiming criminal gangs will sell cigarettes to anyone, including children.

The Garda Assistant Commissioner, Derek Byrne, said that the current quality of counterfeit goods (with branded packaging) was so good that professionals struggle to identify a difference.

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