Health Service Executive v. P.J. Carroll & Co. Ltd.

The Health Service Executive prosecuted P.J. Carroll & Company, a tobacco manufacturer/distributer, for providing financial assistance to retailers in consideration for promoting a tobacco product.  The company ran a program through which it encouraged sales assistants at retail stores to promote a particular brand of cigarettes when a customer requested to purchase certain other brands.  The company employed mystery shoppers to test sales assistants and reward them with a €30 voucher if they utilized the appropriate promotional phrase.  In reviewing the lower court’s dismissal of the prosecution, the High Court focused on whether the prize vouchers given to sales assistants were a form of “financial assistance” under the law.  The term “financial assistance” was not defined.  The High Court affirmed the dismissal on the grounds that financial assistance did not include a “once-off prize or reward of a small sum.”  Instead, financial assistance must assist a particular event or activity and is distinct from a “financial contribution.”  Because the action was brought specifically as a violation of the provision banning financial assistance (Public Health (Tobacco) Act (as amended), Section 36(2)) and not under the provision prohibiting sponsorship (Section 36(1)), the charges were dismissed.


Health Service Executive v. P.J. Carroll & Co. Ltd., [2012] IEHC 147, High Court (2012).

  • Ireland
  • Mar 12, 2012
  • High Court


Plaintiff Health Service Executive

Defendant P.J. Carroll & Company Limited

Legislation Cited

International/Regional Instruments Cited

Related Documents

Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues

Type of Tobacco Product