On World No Tobacco Day, the HSE has published a new plan to tackle tobacco-related harm, as smoking still causes over 4,500 deaths in Ireland each year.
Today, the HSE Health and Wellbeing, Tobacco Free Ireland Programme (TFI) has published a new Programme Plan 2022-2025, as its strategy sets a target for Ireland to have a smoking prevalence of less than 5% by 2025.
An accompanying State of Tobacco Control Report examines recent trends in smoking in Ireland, and has revealed over 4,500 deaths each year in Ireland are still caused by smoking.
While there is continuing progress in reducing smoking prevalence in Ireland, it has stalled at 18% in 2021, and smoking amongst teenagers is increasing.
Taoiseach Micheal Martin has commented that smoking “causes too many preventable deaths and significant harm to the health of too many people today”.
75% of people surveyed by the TFI now support the goal of ending the harm caused by smoking in Ireland completely, and want a “Tobacco Free Ireland” for the next generation.
Martina Blake, national lead, HSE Tobacco Free Ireland Programme, said that “hearing from the public that they want a Tobacco Free Ireland is a strong call for action”.
She said that the new TFI programme has a focus on building capacity and capability of stop smoking services to ensure nobody is left behind. The plan will see the introduction of almost 50 new roles in stop smoking services across the country, and an investment of approximately €3m each year recurring, including roles and investment specifically focused in Sláintecare Healthy Communities.