Fine Gael TD for Dublin South-West, Colm Brophy, has recommended that heated cigarette products are taxed at the same rate as regular cigarettes – the highest rate for tobacco products – when they are introduced to Ireland.
“Heated cigarettes are the latest gimmick from the tobacco industry. Rolls of tobacco are heated and smoked after insertion into an electronic device,” Deputy Brophy said.
“They are being marketed at young people and it is expected that tobacco companies will introduce heated cigarettes to Ireland in the very near future.
“At the moment, there is no common EU definition on taxation of heated cigarettes. That is why Ireland should put in an additional stand-alone category of taxation for heated cigarette products as they will be introduced here soon.
“This will also protect Government revenues. The State should not be sub-venting the profits of tobacco companies by giving them lower taxation rates on this product, such as the lower rates of tax on other tobacco products, such as rolling tobacco and pipe tobacco.
“I encourage the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe to ensure that they are taxed at the same rate as regular cigarettes – the highest rate for tobacco products – when they are introduced to Ireland.
“A heated cigarette heats tobacco to a lower temperature than when a regular cigarette is burned. The resulting smoke contains nicotine and other chemicals.
“The World Health Organisation states that all forms of tobacco use are harmful, including heated cigarettes. There is no reliable evidence that these products are any less harmful than regular cigarettes.
“Heated cigarettes should be subject to policy and regulatory measures applied to all other cigarette products, in line with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).
“The Government is committed to a tobacco free Ireland by 2025. It will never reach that target if heated cigarettes are cheaper than regular cigarettes,” Deputy Brophy said.