Tobacco Free Ireland

There are now more quitters than smokers in Ireland

HSE QUIT campaign builds on momentum

Observer Staff

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Observer Staff

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news@leitrimobserver.ie

There are now more quitters than smokers in Ireland

The HSE this week launched the latest phase of the award-winning QUIT campaign, which uses powerful real-life stories to encourage smokers to quit for good.

Launched by Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, the new campaign builds on the success of previous testimonial adverts, and celebrates the fact that today in Ireland, there are more ex-smokers than current smokers - and if you smoke and want to quit, the HSE will help you to join them.

Martina Blake, National Tobacco Control Lead for the HSE, said, "Our new TV and radio adverts celebrate the growing, supportive community of quitters across the country, many of whom work hard to support each other as they face their next quit attempt. The campaign features a cast, including some real life ex-smokers, who generously share their experience of quitting to inspire others."

Amanda White from Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, quit smoking over a year ago and features in the new campaign. Describing the support from the HSE QUIT service, she said ‘They rang me every single week for the first four weeks, and every morning I woke up to a text, which was brilliant because it was really motivational - they were there for me. I can firmly say that I'm never going to smoke again and if I can give one piece of advice to anybody - just take one day at a time, because that's all you can do.’

Six thousand lives are taken from us every year because of tobacco addiction. Six thousand preventable deaths every year.

Tobacco Free Ireland sets a target for Ireland to be tobacco free by 2025. 

Smoking is the single biggest cause of illness, disability and death in Ireland.

- 23% of the Irish population smoke; and about 19% smoke every day.

- 6,000 deaths in Ireland per year are attributable to smoking; every day, 16 people die, and every week, 115 extended families grieve the loss of a loved one, all due to tobacco related disease.

- Many hundreds of thousands more live with long-term illness and disability caused by smoking.

- The largest group of smokers are aged 25-34 year olds (33%). Most smokers are aware of health implications and the majority of them are planning to, thinking about, or trying to quit. Smoking costs the publicly funded health services in Ireland €500 million annually. In the acute hospital sector alone, smoking was responsible for more than 100,000 inpatient episodes; 1 in 3 due to respiratory disease, 1 in 5 due to cardiovascular disease and 1 in 10 due to cancer – all attributed to smoking.

The HSE QUIT service provides personalised, free, proven support by phone, email, SMS and live chat.

The new ad encourages smokers to free call 1800 201 203 to talk to the QUIT Team or to visit www.quit.ie to view personal stories from the campaign, get smoking cessation tips and create a personalised quit plan.

Quitters can also get peer-to-peer support at the HSE QUIT Facebook Page www.facebook.com/HSEQUIT and follow on Twitter at HSE QUIT @HSEQuitTeam #QUIT #IWillSurvive