Quarter of cigarettes from black market
More than a quarter of the cigarettes smoked here last year were illegal, it has been claimed.
The proportion of non-duty paid tobacco in the country has risen, with manufacturers blaming increased taxation.
A spokesman said: "We felt that, given the large increase that was put on legitimate cigarettes in 2011, there would be an upsurge in the illegal market and that is what has happened."
In 2011, excise duty on a packet of cigarettes rose by 25c and VAT increased to 23pc.
According to the tobacco lobby group, the level of non-Irish duty paid cigarettes in Ireland rose to 28pc in 2012, making it the second biggest tobacco supplier in the country.
The HSE said research had demonstrated the effectiveness of taxes in reducing smoking.