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Commenting on the news that Ireland has moved a stage closer to plain packaging, Christopher Snowdon of the Institute of Economic Affairs said:

“This is more good news for the criminal underworld. Ireland already has the biggest problem with illicit tobacco in Western Europe. Plain packaging will open up more opportunities in the black market, as it has in Australia. Ireland has tried every anti-smoking policy in the book and yet it has a stubbornly high smoking rate. It’s time health policy was based on an understanding of why people smoke, rather than on the egos of politicians.”

Notes to editors

To arrange an interview please contact Stephanie Lis, Director of Communications: 020 7799 8909, [email protected]

Chris Snowdon is the author of Free Market Solutions in Health: The case of nicotine.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.