New research shows that one in three cigarettes sold in Letterkenny are illegal. The research highlights the growing problem with illegal cigarettes in Donegal.
The figures show that 33.9% of cigarettes in Letterkenny are non Irish duty paid (NIDP). The figure was well above the national average of 29.8% and placed Letterkenny fifth highest of the 22 towns and cities that were surveyed for the second quarter of 2012.
The highest level of illegal cigarettes was found in Waterford at the 44.5% level with Dun Laoghaire in Dublin the lowerst at 11%.
A spokesperson for Irish Tobacco Manufacturers Advisory Committee, (ITMAC) stated the figures were worrying, and criticised the governments handling of the situation. They noted the rise in illegal cigarettes over the past year has coincided with the govenements increase in VAT and Excise in the last budget, pushing the price of a packet of 20 cigarettes to over €9. They have called for the government to use the findings as an oppertunity to increase fines and introduce jail sentances to help fight the flow of illegal cigarettes into the country.