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Irish children from deprived families twice as likely to be exposed to second-hand-smoke

32.7% of nine-year-olds from Ireland’s lowest-income families are exposed to secondary smoke daily.
May 31st 2017, 9:15 AM 8,523 37

shutterstock_565555858 Source: Shutterstock/heller

IRISH CHILDREN FROM deprived areas are twice as likely to inhale second-hand-smoke as children from more affluent backgrounds, according to a new report.

Just 14% of children from Ireland’s highest-income families are exposed to tobacco smoke in their everyday lives.

The figure is 32.7% for nine-year-olds from the country’s lowest-income families.

The snapshot report, Smoke-Free Spaces on the Island of Ireland, has been released today by the Institute of Public Health (IPH) in conjunction with World No Tobacco Day.

It can be viewed here.

1 Percentage of Irish adults who say smoking is not permitted in the home Source: IPH

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Despite the experience of those living in low-income situations, overall less than a fifth of Irish adults (18%) are exposed to secondary smoke on a daily basis.

The highest figures are seen in the 15-24 age group, with nearly a third of Irish people in that age bracket (28%) exposed to smoking daily.

“Reducing second-hand smoke exposure is a central part of tobacco control policies across the island of Ireland. The expansion of smoke-free spaces directly reduces exposure of children and adults and further helps to denormalise tobacco use in a variety of social contexts,” said the Director of Policy at the IPH Dr Helen McAvoy.

2 Percentage of adults who reported that smoking is not allowed when children are present Source: IPH

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Regarding the fact that those living on lower-incomes are more likely to be exposed, McAvoy said:

People in deprived areas need greater support to help them quit smoking and we also need to address the root causes of such health inequalities.

According to 2014 statistics, 8% of young Irish people aged between 10 and 17, about 40,260 children and adolescents, smoke cigarettes.

Read: Column: ’8 per cent of young people aged 10 to 17 smoke cigarettes’

Read: ‘Six years on, we still have no school. I’m worried my daughter will never learn in a school building’

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Cianan Brennan


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