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Smoke-free Ireland still 34 years off as 100 die every week

The shocking delay is putting new pressure on Health Minister Simon Harris to soften his stance on e-cigarettes to help more smokers quit.

The Government is committed to being "tobacco-free" - with less than 5pc of the population still smokers - by 2025.

But the HSE report says that, based on current trends, this target will not be met until 2052.

At present, 18pc of Irish people smoke daily.

Smoking, which includes the effects of second-hand smoke, is deemed responsible for 100 deaths and more than 1,000 hospital episodes every week across the country.

"More of the same may not be enough to affect the step change required to move to the end game," the HSE report says.

Fine Gael's Senator Catherine Noone said the report indicated that a tobacco-free Ireland could still be decades away.

Ms Noone said the report concludes that the State should "continue to scan the horizon to understand and determine policy on the role of e-cigarettes and other new technologies and opportunities for the tobacco end game in Ireland".

She added that using e-cigarettes was "very far from ideal" but may be a "least worst option".

Ms Noone also pointed out that the Healthy Ireland programme says 37pc of people who quit smoking last year used e-cigarettes.


Source: John Downing, Irish Independent, 2nd October 2018

Posted by on 10/03 at 02:58 PM in
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