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Learning English - Words in the News
10 September, 2004 - Published 14:09 GMT
Cigarette sales in Ireland fall

Cigarette sales in Ireland have dropped significantly since the introduction of the country's ban on smoking in the workplace. New figures show that quarter of a million fewer cigarettes were smoked in the first half of this year. This report from James Helm:

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Ireland's smoking ban came in at the end of March this year and its impact is being demonstrated. Figures from Gallaher, the manufacturer of big, well known brands, and which holds a fifty percent market share in Ireland, show it sold two hundred and sixty million fewer cigarettes between January and June. Total sales in the country shrank by around seven and a half percent. The company blames duty increases as well as the effect of the smoking ban.

The Irish health minister Michael Martin welcomed the drop in sales, saying that the less people smoke, the better it is for the nation's health. He hopes that the ban will encourage more smokers to either give up, or to smoke less.

The ban continues to be criticised by many bar owners who say it's costing them business. But politicians outside Ireland are also watching its experience closely. Last week, Scotland's first minister visited Dublin to see for himself how the ban is going.

A possible downside, though, for the Irish government is that tax revenue from tobacco sales is predicted to fall by almost one hundred million dollars this year.

James Helm, BBC, Dublin

Listen to the words


particular makes; trademarks

total sales
the overall number of cigarettes sold

became smaller

duty increases
larger tax payments

drop in sales
reduction in cigarettes sold

it’s costing them business
refers to the fact that fewer people have been coming to bars and spending money there since the introduction of the smoking ban

drawback, a negative aspect

the income that a state receives from taxes

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