Cigarette machines “not an issue” for pubs

Tobaccoland, the country's biggest cigarette vending machine supplier, has warned the Minister for Health Simon Harris TD that simply following the example of 15 other European countries by banning 6,000 vending machines from pubs around Ireland will not stop people smoking.

Tobaccoland Director James Walshe has added that the pub vending machine ban threatens his workforce and he’s determined to fight it to the Supreme Court if necessary.

The Limerick-based vending machine supply company employs 23 full-time and 10 part-time workers and takes in €1.5 million a week from customers in pubs purchasing cigarettes from the machines.

But the licensed trade is somewhat less exercised about the issue. It does not own the machines but merely gets commission on sales.

“It’s primarily a service to customers as the publican gets little or nothing out of it,” commented VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben pointing out that if customers can’t get cigarettes in the pub via the machines then they’ll simply obtain them somewhere else.

“It’s a small issue in terms of being able to give a service to the customer but it’s not an issue in terms of revenue generation,” he concluded.



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