Compliance with smoking ban has reached 97pc
By Eilish O’Regan Health Correspondent
Tuesday June 23 2009
A small number of pubs, hotels, and taxis, flouted the smoking ban last year although overall compliance is now at 97pc.
A total of 24 prosecutions were taken for breach of the smoking ban, 17 of which related to pubs, with €2,000 the highest fine imposed.
The Office of Tobacco Control (OTC), in its annual report, also said 23 cases were taken for illegal sale of cigarettes to under 18-year-olds, in shops, pubs, and hotels, with 19 convictions.
A shop in Co Mayo got the stiffest fine for selling cigarettes to children. Costcutters in Killala Rd, Ballina, Co Mayo, was fined €750.
From October, breaches of the smoking legislation can lead to a pub, hotel, and shopkeeper, being banned from selling cigarettes for up to three months.
OTC chief executive Eamonn Rossi said: “Five years after its introduction, we are delighted with how workplaces and the public continue to support this public health measure.”
He warned from Wednesday of next week, July 1, new regulations will come into force which will compel any premises selling cigarettes to keep them out of public view and to remove any signage about cigarettes.
One in four people here still smoke and the aim is to cut rates even further through the new measures.
But the National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) yesterday said it doubted the new measures will reduce smoking rates. It wants stricter policing of tobacco smuggling laws which cost retailers €453m in 2007 and a review of the impending ban on point of sale advertising.
Martin Mulligan, district president of the NFRN said that the black market sale of tobacco is now officially one of the most profitable forms of organised crime in Ireland and is the third biggest supplier of tobacco in Ireland.
– Eilish O’Regan Health Correspondent