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Irish people smoking more and spending more on habit says research

Health insurer Aviva say that almost a quarter of those who filled out online health check forms said they smoked.

Updated 12.55pm

IRISH PEOPLE ARE smoking more and spending more on cigarettes than compared to figures last year according to new research.

According to health insurer Aviva, almost a quarter of people in Ireland who filled out an online health check are smokers with 24 per cent of females smoking compared to 22 per cent of males.

The research shows that Irish smokers are consuming an average of 23 cigarettes every day, that’s 10 more than last year’s corresponding figures.

The habit is costing the Irish smoker approximately €293.25 each month and €3,519.00 per year, that is €1,500 more than last year.

Dr Stephen Murphy from the Aviva medical council told that the figures were surprising given the stressful financial situation many people are now finding themselves in:

The numbers could be increasing because of the difficult times we’re in.

It’s more difficult to persuade people to quit because there is this erroneous belief that smoking relieves stress and anxiety which it doesn’t.

The amount people are spending on cigarettes could be a brand new car every three years.

It’s not a sum of money  to be blown away in smoke and there’s so much more people could do with it.

The research also shows that women in Ireland are smoking double the amount of cigarettes compared to men, an average of 12 more than men. Aviva say this highlights that the trend of women smoking more than men remains the same.

Regionally, county Longford has the highest number of smokers in the country with 30 per cent of respondents saying they smoke. Monaghan has the lowest number of smokers, 16 per cent. In Dublin, 23 per cent of respondents said they smoked.

The figures were taken from nearly 19,000 people who filled out of the online forms at between 2008 and 2010.