Accordingly to the latest figures the level of non Irish duty paid (NIDP ) cigarettes in Athlone is at 23.8 per cent. The research, which was carried out by MS Intelligence through the collection of empty packs throughout the area showed that the level of NIDP cigarettes in Athlone is below the national average of 28.2 per cent.
The highest level of NIDP cigarettesacross the 22 towns and cities that were surveyed was in Waterford with 33.3 per cent, the Navan at 31.7 per cent was closely followed by Limerick in third with 31.4 per cent.
A spokesperson for the Irish Tobacco Manufacturers Advisory Committee said: “There is no great surprise in these figures. We felt that given the large increase that was put on legitimate cigarettes in December 2011, there would be an upsurge in the illegal market and that is exactly what has happened. The shocking reality is that one third of tobacco consumed in Ireland in 2012 completely avoided excise and VAT.”