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Smokers urged seek support to kick the habit as new year begins

One million people have successfully quit smoking in Ireland – and now the HSE is urging remaining smokers to kick the habit for good in 2013.

Image: Smoking photo via Shutterstock

SMOKERS ARE BEING urged to kick the habit for good in 2013 and join the estimated one million people who have quit smoking in Ireland.

Seventy per cent of smokers want to quit the habit, the HSE has said, and around 40 per cent of smokers will make an attempt to quit this year.

Dr Fenton Howell, the Director of Public Health with the HSE, said smokers who use a support service or who get help and advice are more than twice as likely to be successful in quitting.

“While most people quit ‘cold turkey’, we know that people who get help or use a support service can double their chances of success,” he said.

Help can come from online supports like our website or Facebook page, our Quitline, GPs and pharmacists, HSE QUIT Smoking clinics, treatments and medications – and of course from friends and family.
People who have already quit can provide tremendous support and inspiration for those trying to do it themselves.

More than 44,000 people have liked the HSE Facebook page aimed at encouraging people to quit smoking, which Dr Howell described as “a fantastic community of quitters past, present and future who are supporting each other on their quit journey”.

An estimated 7,000 people die in Ireland every year from smoking-related diseases, according to the Department of Health. Fifty per cent of smokers die from smoking-related diseases and smoking is the single biggest cause of ill-health, disability and death in Ireland, the HSE said.

Smoking also costs Ireland around €1 billion per year to provide health services for smokers.

The HSE’s QUIT campaign will run ads online, on radio and on television over the coming weeks to offer tips and encouragement to smokers to give up.

The EU last week put forward new plans to ban strongly-flavoured cigarettes – such as menthol –  and put photographs of rotting lungs and large health warnings on cigarette packaging.

It also plans to regulate internet sales of cigarettes and clamp down on black market selling of cigarettes.

Read: Haughey’s mission against smoking and cigarette advertising >

Read: EU cracks down on tobacco branding >

Read: Irish smokers start at lower age than any other EU country >

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