Quitting smoking

HSE media campaign tells smokers ‘You can quit, and we can help’

The HSE has begun a new health education campaign aimed at encouraging smokers to quit. Smoking is the single biggest cause of illness, disability and death in Ireland. By encouraging smokers to quit, and reducing the numbers of smokers in Ireland, we can reduce the level of illness and deaths caused by tobacco use, and reduce the cost of treating those illnesses, which will benefit everyone in our society.

The new campaign is based on the stark fact, which is not well known among the public, one in every two smokers will die of a tobacco related disease. This fact highlights the serious impact that smoking has not only on the smoker themselves but also their friends, family and loved ones.

80% of smokers say they want to quit and 40% try to quit every year. This campaign highlights the range of supports available to smokers to encourage them to try to quit and advice on what they can do to ensure their quit attempt succeeds. Most people quit successfully after a few attempts, and while many go it alone on will power, those quitters who use supports like the National Smokers’ Quitline, online help, smoking cessation services or medications are twice as likely to succeed.

There are about one million smokers in Ireland and, each year, 5,500 Irish people die of a tobacco related disease. Many thousands more lives are shattered by the illness, disability and bereavement that cigarettes cause. It is estimated that between €1 and €2 billion euro is spent each year by the HSE in treating tobacco related diseases.

The HSE has joined with a range of key health organisations to ensure that campaign has maximum impact and support across the health sector. Partners include the Irish Cancer Society, Irish Heart Foundation, Irish College of General Practitioners, Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland, Irish Dental Association, ASH Ireland, Asthma Society of Ireland, TobaccoFree Research Institute, Environmental Health Officers Associtation, National Youth Council of Ireland, Irish Thoracic Society, Royal College of Physicians in Ireland and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

For help to QUIT smoking:-

▪ Call the National Smokers’ Quitline 1850 201 203;
▪ Contact HSE smoking cessation services, details on HSE.ie or QUIT.ie;
▪ Talk to your GP or Pharmacist;
▪ Visit www.QUIT.ie and sign up for an online quit plan