The new Tobacco Free Ireland annual report has set a target of 2025 for the country to be tobacco free.
Tobacco Free Ireland is Ireland’s national tobacco control policy and sets a target for Ireland to be tobacco free by the year 2025.
A high-level action plan for Tobacco Free Ireland was published in March 2015 and each year the Department of Health reports on the ongoing implementation of the plan.
The annual report outlines several 'key achievements' in 2020. These include:
- The inclusion of information on the dangers of tobacco use in Healthy Choices 1, the first substance misuse module of Junior Cycle Social, Personal and Health Education, aimed at first year students.
- The launch of a new QUIT marketing campaign by HSE National Communications and the HSE Tobacco Free Ireland Programme, called The Last Stop.
- The completion by the Health Research Board of three comprehensive evidence reviews on electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products commissioned by the Minister for Health.
- A further increase of 50 cent on a packet of cigarettes with pro-rata increases on other tobacco products in Budget 2021.
Ministr for Health Stephen Donnelly said: “Despite the obvious challenges from the Covid-19 pandemic, work has continued in the last year towards our goal of a tobacco free Ireland. By working to remove smoking from daily life in Ireland and educating young people on the dangers of tobacco, while making cessation assistance as widely available as possible, we can continue to build on the promising results we have seen in recent years.
“I urge anyone that is thinking of quitting to act now. Stopping smoking remains one of the best decisions a person can make for their health. The last 18 months has further highlighted the importance of being proactive about our own health and the health of those around us. The HSE QUIT service remains available to anyone that needs it.’’