Following confirmation that the Department of Health is involved in drafting legislation which would ban the sale of tobacco products from vending machines, campaigners have urged caution.
According to reports, there are approximately 6,000 such machines in the country and close to 150 people employed in the area.
John Mallon, spokesman for the smokers’ group Forest Ireland, said:
“Making what is a legal product difficult to source serves only to re-direct decent smokers to the alternative of significantly cheaper, smuggled tobacco.”
“Restricting access might look like an easy fix but simply doesn’t work – does anyone believe that restricting access to alcohol on Good Friday and Christmas Day actually reduces the amount consumed?
“Irrespective of how desperately some would want it to be otherwise, smokers still have a right to consume a legal product in a democratic country without undue interference.”
For further comment:
John Mallon, Forest Ireland
Mobile: 085 117 0943
Forest Ireland – Voice of the Smoker in Ireland