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According to a study realized by the EU statistics agency, Irish consumers encountered the fifth highest overall prices among the 27 EU countries (18 % above average) on several categories of consumer goods and services.
The present survey was based on 2010 prices, it was found out that the cost of goods and services were the highest in Denmark (43% above average) and the most lower in Bulgaria (49% below).
Consumers in Ireland paid above-average prices in four of the six categories, clothing and electronic goods dropping just below the 27 nation tier.
The price of alcohol and tobacco products is 70% above the average, it is nearly three times what people pay in Bulgaria and Romania, and 28% higher than in the UK, that has the second highest prices in this category.
“This significant price variation happens due to dissimilarities in taxation of these products among member states,” EU statistics agency stated.
A week ago the agency declared that the mean income per head in Ireland joint third highest among the 27 EU countries in 2010 – 25 % higher than the average.
Also the survey underlined that Irish residents encountered the second highest prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages – 20% more than the EU average.
The Danish once again paid more in the food and non-alcoholic beverages category (36% higher than the EU average), while Romania and Bulgaria residents paid only two-thirds of the EU average.
At the average, goods and services cost 18% more in Ireland than in the UK.
The greatest difference between the two was mostly detected in the prices of alcohol and cigarettes (28% higher) and restaurants (26% higher). Probably the only category where people in the UK paid more than Irish residents was for electronic goods, which are 4% less here.
Ireland was also third highest behind Denmark and Portugal, when it comes to personal transport costs and spare parts, paying 16% above the EU average.
Commenting upon the study, the Irish Hotels Federation stated that the statistics hid “essential decrease” in hotel accommodation costs in Ireland since 2008. Prices have decreases by 30% in that period, the federation stated.
Irish Farmers Association state that the survey acknowledged that the food supply chain in Ireland “continues to be unstable”.
According to David Fitzsimons, manager of the Retail Excellence Ireland the survey underlined that the Irish retail sector had answered to a dramatic change in consumer expenditures. “One thing from this survey is clear – a great number of retailers are working at a loss,” he stated.
A Massachusetts jury has decided that the Lorillard Tobacco Co. attempted to attract African-American teenagers to smoking by giving out free cigarettes. The jury awarded $71 million compensation to son and the estate of a female smoker who died of lung cancer.
The Suffolk Superior Court jury read out its ruling last week after hearing months of testimony.
Mr. Willie Evans stated Lorillard, the oldest tobacco company in the nation, enticed his mother, Marie Evans, to trying cigarettes in the 1950s by providing her with free Newport cigarettes during a project held in at the Orchard Park residential complex in Boston, where she resided. He noted his mother was smoking during almost 40 years and died after continuous battle against lung cancer at age 54.
According to the verdict, Lorillard would have to pay late Marie Evans’ estate $50 million in damages and awarded another $21 million to her son.
During the lawsuit, an attorney for Greensboro-based Lorillard, and manufactures flagship Newport brand, and Kent, True, Maverick and other brands, declared that the company, like its major rivals, distributed free cigarette samples many years ago to adult smokers trying to attract them to its products. However, the lawyer insisted it did not distribute any samples to adolescents and said that the allegation that it intentionally passed out free cigarettes to African-American kids “disturbing.”
Lorillard attorney as well stated Evans decided to begin smoking and did not quit the habit even after a heart attack she had in 1985 when her doctors repeatedly asked her to get rid of smoking. The company’s spokesman declared they would appeal the ruling.
“Lorillard respectfully expresses disagreement with the ruling and negates the plaintiff’s allegation that it gave samples to adolescents or adults at Orchard Park in Boston in the 1960s,” Lorillard spokesperson Gregg Perry stated. “The plaintiff’s testimony based on 50-year-old memories was convincingly contradicted by several witnesses. Lorrilard is set to appeal this ruling and is confident the Massachusetts Court of Appeals would review that case.”
This lawsuit is the first of its kind in the United States to accuse a tobacco company of attracting African-American adolescents by giving out cigarette samples in urban neighborhoods, admitted Edward A. Sweda, Tobacco Products Liability Project attorney.
Sweda said this lawsuit could result in similar lawsuits across the nation by other people who were given free cigarettes in their childhood.
Marie Evans’ attorney stated she got her first cigarettes when she was 9 and first passed them to her older sisters or exchanged them for candy, but she started smoking when she was 13.
Jurors also were ale to hear Evan’s testimony through a videotaped recording she gave to her attorneys in 2002, shortly before her death. On the tape, she admitted free cigarettes had a great effect on her, because they were available and she needed no money to get them.
According to the results of a research accomplished by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration the rates of minor boys who use chewing tobacco have increased from 3.5 to 4.5 percent within 5 years, making it a 30 percent rise. Scientists have underlined that teenagers who preferred using smokeless tobacco have been living mainly in rural areas.
As regards the use of chewing tobacco among adult population, the numbers have remained relatively stable, increasing by only 0.3 percent from 3.0 to 3.3 percents.
The survey regarding smokeless tobacco use found out that almost 8 million people aged 12 and older admitted chewing smokeless tobacco during last year.
During the nationwide survey around one million minors were proposed to answer several questions related to using tobacco for chewing, inhaling, snorting and mixing with gums. According to the survey results almost 400,000 teenagers said trying or using chewing tobacco regularly.
Other results of smokeless tobacco use survey indicated that:
- The overwhelming majority of actual users of chewing tobacco (86%) admitted to smoke cigarettes at least 10 times and 40 percents of surveyed minors lighted up within last couple of months.
- Many regular smokers switched to using chewing tobacco thinking that it would help them give up smoking, however the majority of them (almost 90%) were still puffing on their cigarettes after almost a year of chewing smokeless tobacco.
- Amidst people who had tried both cigarettes and chewing tobacco at least once during their lives, 66 percent began smoking before using smokeless tobacco; 32 percent of surveyed tried chewing tobacco first and 2 percent admitted to begin smoking and chewing simultaneously.
- Men are almost 20 times more likely to use smokeless tobacco for chewing than women.
Prof. Jonas Smirnoff, one of the survey leaders commented the results of survey saying that users of smokeless tobacco have not been aware that chewing tobacco was a not a healthier substitute for cigarettes, as smokeless tobacco has been linked with oral cancer risk for a long time. Scientist also added that smokeless tobacco could contribute to becoming nicotine addicted as well as in case with smoking usual cigarettes.
Jennifer McNally, assistant to president of the campaign for tobacco-free kids advocacy group stated that the trend of using chewing smokeless tobacco among minors has been raising more and more concerns among scientists and physicians.
She blamed tobacco industry for luring adolescents to start chewing tobacco in order to become more popular among their friends.
Mrs. McNally indicated that the recent increase in the rates of teenage tobacco chewers is closely related to the increase in the tobacco companies’ investments in advertising their products and attracting minor audience by indirect propaganda of smokeless tobacco.
The recent surveys raised many demands to give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the power to ban the use of smokeless tobacco among minors as well as to regulate tobacco products.