Smoking in Ireland and Europe: the facts


  • Around 7,000 people die each year from smoking-related diseases in Ireland. Around 28 per cent of the population smoke.
  • Around 90 per cent of all lung cancers are caused by smoking.
  • Ireland spends €1 billion a year providing health services for smokers.
  • Exposure to passive smoking in the workplace increases the risk of lung cancer by up to 40 per cent.
  • Smokers lose an average of 10-15 years from their life expectancy.
  • Two-thirds of Irish people support the ban on smoking in workplaces, according to the Government, and even 40 per cent of smokers are in favour of it.
  • Around a quarter of deaths from heart disease in Ireland are caused by smoking.
  • Heart disease is Ireland's biggest killer, accounting for 40 per cent of all the country's deaths.
  • Smokers have at least twice the risk of heart attack of non-smokers.
  • Smoking kills half a million people of the 375 million people in the European Union each year.
  • The proportion of smokers in the bloc will rise after May 1st, when the EU expands to embrace 10 mostly eastern European countries where tobacco consumption is higher than in the existing 15 member states.
  • Norway will introduce a ban similar to Ireland's on June 1st.