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Do you want to stub out the smokes this year?

The HSE has launched its new QUIT service.

Image: Shutterstock/Kjetil Kolbjornsrud

IS GIVING UP smoking on your list of New Year’s resolutions for 2015?

If so, the HSE QUIT campaign could be of help. It has launched its new QUIT personal service today, and says that its supports mean people can be twice as likely to quit for good.

Over 500,000 quit attempts have been prompted by the campaign since 2011.

Gerry’s legacy

Source: HSE Ireland/YouTube

Last year, the QUIT campaign launched its powerful advertising featuring Gerry Collins from Greystones in Co Wicklow, who died earlier this year from lung cancer caused by smoking.

Dr Stephanie O’Keeffe, National Director for Health and Wellbeing, said that one in every two smokers will die of a tobacco-related disease, and over 5000 families will lose a loved one this year due to tobacco.

Dr O’Keeffe said that Gerry’s adverts prompted a “remarkable response” from smokers trying to quit. The HSE will continue to show Gerry’s ads. From now on, they’ll be matched by a call to contact the new QUIT support service.

“The number of smokers in Ireland has dropped once again in 2014, but we want to help even more smokers to quit,” she pointed out.

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar, TD, said:

Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do to improve your health and avoid chronic disease and premature death. The Government is here to help and polices such as advertising bans, the ban on smoking in work places, education campaigns, removing tobacco items from display and plain packaging all help to reduce the numbers of people who smoke.

How does it work?

HSE QUIT Campaign Launch 8 Source: Robbie Reynolds Photography

The QUIT team now provides support to quitters across a range of channels – over the phone, on Twitter and Facebook, and by SMS and email. Quitters can also use the brand new interactive QUIT.ie website, talking to the QUIT team via Live Chat, and using the online QUITplan. There is also a network of face-to face HSE QUIT services around the country

Quitters will be tracked and supported for 12 months to help them quit and stay quit, says the HSE.

  • Quitters are offered a 20 minute phone consultation, where their own smoking habits, triggers and reasons to quit are analysed.
  • If the smoker is ready to quit, they set the date.
  • The quit team schedule calls for the quit date and once a week for the first four weeks. There are follow up calls at three months and 12 months.
  • Quitters can call, text or use Facebook to contact the quit team between scheduled calls to get support when and how they need it. They will usually speak to the same advisor throughout the process.

The QUIT.ie website has been completely redesigned and updated, and is now mobile and tablet friendly. The QUIT is also on Twitter @hseQuitTeam and on the You can QUIT Facebook page.

The QUIT kit can be ordered on quit.ie and all QUIT services are provided free of charge by the HSE.

Read: Gerry Collins, who appeared in hard-hitting anti-smoking ads, has died>

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