Largest annual drop in smoking last year since 2009

HSE say drop ‘shows comprehensive range of tobacco control measures are working’

Last year saw the largest annual drop in smoking prevalence since 2009, according to new figures released by the HSE’s National Tobacco Control Office.

Last year saw the largest annual drop in smoking prevalence since 2009, according to new figures released by the HSE’s National Tobacco Control Office.

 

Last year saw the largest annual drop in smoking prevalence since 2009, according to new figures released by the HSE’s National Tobacco Control Office.

Smoking prevalence in people over the age of 15 was 19.5 per cent in 2014 compared to 21.5 per cent for 2013. This equates to a reduction of an estimated 70,000 smokers during the 12 months of 2014. Smoking prevalence was at 28 per cent in 2003.

HSE national tobacco lead Dave Molloy said the drop “shows that the comprehensive range of tobacco control measures implemented in Ireland are working”.

“We welcome today’s confirmation that smoking prevalence is reducing, and the increased uptake in smokers seeking help to quit,” he said. “The HSE and all involved in implementing the Tobacco Free Ireland Strategy intend to accelerate our efforts in order to ensure fewer people take up smoking, to help more smokers to quit, and as a nation achieve tobacco free status by 2025.”

He said that to achieve this target, the Tobacco Free Ireland policy would include a range of tobacco control initiatives to “further denormalise smoking, stop our children starting to smoke, and help smokers to quit”.

“These changes are welcome, but there are still over 700,000 smokers in Ireland, and we see 5,200 tobacco related deaths annually – that’s 15 deaths every day, and 100 families bereaved every week,” he said.

Mr Molloy added that the QUIT campaign ads featuring Gerry Collins have “inspired over 200,000 quit attempts since last year, and have been used as a model for similar campaigns in the UK”.