10TH Anniversary of the introduction of ‘The Workplace Smoking Ban’ is celebrated

Back Row L/R: Dr Kristina Mauer-Stender, Dr. Pat Doorley<br />Front Row: L/R: Prof. Greg Connolly, Prof. Luke Clancy, Minister James Reilly, Deputy Micheál Martin, Prof. Hilary Hoey, Dr Ross Morgan
Back Row L/R: Dr Kristina Mauer-Stender, Dr. Pat Doorley
Front Row: L/R: Prof. Greg Connolly, Prof. Luke Clancy, Minister James Reilly, Deputy Micheál Martin, Prof. Hilary Hoey, Dr Ross Morgan

 

This morning (24th March 2014) a major academic Symposium was organised by ASH Ireland, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) and Tobaccofree Research Institute Ireland, in celebration and in recognition of the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the workplace smoking legislation in Ireland on 29th March 2004.  The seminar was held at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland on Kildare Street.

Prior to the Symposium, which commenced at 10.00 a.m., a business breakfast was also held at the RCPI, which was attended by many of those who were directly involved in advocating for and introducing this ground-breaking health legislation 10 years ago.  The breakfast was addressed by both Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly, and Opposition Leader Micheal Martin, who was the Minister responsible for the introduction of the workplace smoking legislation in 2004. 

Speaking today, Dr Ross Morgan, Chairperson of ASH Ireland said “We have decided to formally recognise the introduction of Ireland’s workplace legislation here today, as it has not just been remarkably successful here in Ireland, but has also been replicated in countries all around the world.  All involved should feel very proud of what this legislation has achieved for the nation’s health. Lives have been saved by the introduction of the legislation and that is a very important bottom line” 

Dr Pat Doorley, Chair of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland Policy Group on Tobacco said “Ireland is a world leader in successfully implementing a workplace smoking ban, with many countries having followed suit since its introduction in 2004.  It is the world’s first country to introduce smoke-free bars and restaurants.  Since the ban came into effect, smoking prevalence has dropped from 28-21% and the growing denormalisation of smoking has led to less young people picking up the habit. “

Addressing the seminar this morning Professor Luke Clancy, Director of the TobaccoFree Research Institute Ireland, who as Chairperson of ASH Ireland in 2004 was one of the main drivers for the introduction of the legislation said, “On the 29th of March 2004, Ireland became the first country in the world to implement comprehensive national smokefree workplace legislation, which protects all workers equally including those employed in the hospitality sector, in particular pubs and clubs. Since then, many countries throughout Europe and elsewhere have followed suit by enacting comprehensive or partial bans.

While smoking prevalence and second-hand smoke exposure rates were on the decline before the legislation, over a quarter of the population were still current smokers and a significant body of workers, particularly those in the hospitality industry were still exposed to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS)  or secondhand smoke (SHS) continuously in their place of work. The National Survey of Lifestyles Attitudes and Nutrition (SLAN) conducted in 2002 showed that 29% of men and 16.6% of women reported often spending part of their day exposed to SHS in their workplace with exposure rates much higher among those working in pubs or clubs (47.3% of men and 31.6% of women).

When Ireland introduced its comprehensive smokefree laws, including all service and entertainment industries and most prominently pubs and clubs, the economic boom known as the Celtic Tiger was at its peak. Threats of loss of employment, damage to tourism and loss of taxes, while arguably unfounded and needing refutation were not serious challenges to a confident thriving economy with a “can-do” national attitude. It also meant that the resources necessary to implement the law and auxiliary policies, such as treatment of tobacco dependence, were available.”

A full synopsis of Professor Clancy’s address is at 1 below. 

Professor Greg Connolly of the Harvard School of Public Health and a recognised international expert on tobacco and health said this morning “Ireland was the first and possibly least likely nation to adopt the world’s first Clean-In-Door air law in March, 2004. This law protected the health of the most vulnerable of Society from lung cancer among healthy exposed non smokers and bar and restaurant employees as well as respiratory illness particularly among children.  The law was the central element of the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control .  Through this law the small country’s contribution to global health became immeasurable.  Irish action affirmed the ability of all nations to do the same despite fierce tobacco industry opposition.  More importantly the action made real that all of the articles of the FCTC could be implemented globally. The roar of the Celtic Tiger was heard in every parliament and Congress throughout the world and was sufficient to counter the false messages of the tobacco industry with science, moral virtue, political leadership and concrete strategies for success. Ireland’s contribution was precise and strategic than simply passing a law. It established clear guidelines for other nations to follow on how to foster social support,  the importance of monitoring compliance with the law once passed, and the need for economic and scientific evaluation of benefits from Clean Indoor Air laws once enacted.”

A full synopsis of Professor Connolly’s address is at 2 below.

Dr Kristina Mauer-Stender of the World Health Organisation addressed the seminar and said, “In order to talk about our future vision for tobacco control in Europe, we have to look into the past. What has happened in Europe in tobacco control since the adoption of the first ever international health treaty, WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control ten years ago? Are European adults and youth smoking less? Have countries been committed to health and taken bold actions in tobacco control? Who have been leaders we can be proud of and learn from?

In light of the newly adopted global voluntary targets on non-communicable diseases by 2025, what is the vision of Europe in terms of achieving the global target, 30% decrease in tobacco use in 10 years? Are we ready to look beyond tobacco control and start discussing about a Tobacco Free Europe?

Key questions are what should be done and how to make the 2025 target a reality in Europe? And is a Tobacco Free Europe inspiring and realistic?”

A full synopsis of Dr Maurer-Stender’s address is at 3 below. 

Dr (Senator) John Crown delivered a paper to the seminar entitled “Politicians, scientists, the Tobacco Industry and the WHO FCTC (Framework Convention for Tobacco Control) Article 5.3: He said, “Every day in Ireland, five people get the news that they have incurable fatal lung cancer. In 95% of cases, their illness was caused by smoking. Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in Ireland and other western countries through numerous cancers, heart disease and stroke.

Tobacco kills approximately 100 times more Irish people annually than illegal drugs. If it was discovered tomorrow, it would surely be illegal. Everyone knows smoking is bad for you. Most smokers want to quit. But smoking is an addiction.

Tobacco companies must recruit 50 new tobacco addicts daily just to replace the deaths that are caused by their own products. In 80% of cases, these novice smokers are children. Big tobacco will deny the reality that its business plan can be summed up in four words: “addict children to carcinogens”.

Big tobacco wants more people smoking, whereas public health policy is aimed at reducing and ultimately eliminating tobacco use.  For these reasons, the goals of public health and those of big tobacco are fundamentally incompatible. Their relationship must be perpetually adversarial and unremittingly hostile.

A full synopsis of Dr Crowns address is at 4 below.

Dr Pat Doorley, Chair of the Tobacco Policy Group, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland said this morning, “Tobacco is a lethal and addictive drug that kills when used as intended. It is the most deadly consumer product ever to be marketed. It is fully attributable to serious and fatal cardiovascular and respiratory disease as well as lung cancer and other cancers. While great progress has been made in the fight against tobacco in Ireland, the fact remains that one in every two smokers will die of a tobacco related disease. We need to act now to wipe out this statistic and we call on the Government to act on the recommendations set out in the new Tobacco Policy Statement as issued by the Royal College of Physicians today.”

A full synopsis of Dr Doorley’s address is at 5 below.

ENDS

 

Media Enquiries: 

Siobhán Creaton, Communications Manager Royal College of Physicians of Ireland:

01 8639732 | Mobile 085 8722109 | Email siobhancreaton@rcpi.ie

ASH Ireland:  0818-305055; Email  info@ash.ie

Mr Wally Young, Public Relations Advisor:  087 2471520

 

 

Note to Editors

ASH Ireland

ASH Ireland, founded in 1992 is the leading anti-tobacco advocacy organisation in Ireland.  It continues to work towards creating a tobacco-free society in Ireland so that a greater number of our citizens can be protected from the scourge of nicotine addiction and the illnesses caused by tobacco use.  For further information check www.ash.ie 

Royal College of Physicians of Ireland

The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) is Ireland’s largest post graduate training body for doctors. Founded in 1654, the college seeks to promote health nationally and internationally and play a leading role in the delivery of high quality patient care by setting and maintaining standards of medical practice and promoting clinical excellence. 

As part of this commitment to improving healthcare and public health, RCPI convenes a number of issue-focused policy groups where medical and other experts can meet to discuss the issues and concerns about a specific health matter with the aim of producing evidence based policy statements that outline the issues, propose specific steps to deal with the issues, and clarify RCPI’s position.

In response to the continuing public health consequences associated with tobacco, and building on RCPI’s past work on smoking, a policy group on tobacco was established in early 2014. The overall aim of the policy group is to influence national tobacco policy and legislation, particularly in support of the Tobacco Free Ireland plan launched by the Minister for Health in 2013. The policy group comprises representatives from a range of medical specialties, from within RCPI’s own Faculties and Institute, and from other external bodies such as the Irish College of General Practitioners, the Irish Thoracic Society and the Psychological Society of Ireland.

 

TobaccoFree Research Institute Ireland

The TobaccoFree Research Institute Ireland (TFRI), under the leadership of the Director General, Professor Luke Clancy, was founded in 2002 and supports the development of a tobacco free society by engaging in research in all aspects of tobacco from a public health perspective.

 

  1.  Professor Luke Clancy2004 – A new beginning for Smokefree Ireland

On the 29th of March 2004, Ireland became the first country in the world to implement comprehensive national smokefree workplace legislation, which protects all workers equally including those employed in the hospitality sector in particular pubs and clubs. Since then, many countries throughout Europe and elsewhere have followed suit by enacting comprehensive or partial bans.

While smoking prevalence and second-hand smoke exposure rates were on the decline before the legislation , over a quarter of the population were still current smokers and a significant body of workers, particularly those in the hospitality industry were still exposed to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS)  or secondhand smoke (SHS) continuously in their place of work. The National Survey of Lifestyles Attitudes and Nutrition (SLAN) conducted in 2002 showed that 29% of men and 16.6% of women reported often spending part of their day exposed to SHS in their workplace with exposure rates much higher among those working in pubs or clubs (47.3% of men and 31.6% of women).

 

When Ireland introduced its comprehensive smokefree laws, including all service and entertainment industries and most prominently pubs and clubs, the economic boom known as the Celtic Tiger was at its peak. Threats of loss of employment, damage to tourism and loss of taxes, while arguably unfounded and needing refutation were not serious challenges to a confident thriving economy with a “can-do” national attitude. It also meant that the resources necessary to implement the law and auxiliary policies, such as treatment of tobacco dependence, were available.

 

Somewhat more difficult was the cultural shift required to countenance what was pushed by opponents of the ban as an infringement of freedom. Research had shown that support for the ban was strong and not confined to non-smokers but yet the image of the poor old man being pushed out into the cold, wet, night air to have his cigarette was powerful. Irish people in Ireland have always been slow to officially complain so the vast majority who were non-smokers would never complain about SHS in a pub while it was legal. This raised serious doubts in some people’s minds about whether the law would be obeyed even if introduced. They argued that the cigarette and the pint were inseparable and nobody was going to interfere and policing the law was not going to be feasible. They forgot two very important precedents. In 1990, a much less affluent time, similar arguments had been current in the debate about making Dublin coal free and again a few years before the smokefree laws Ireland had banned plastic bags for routine use in supermarkets and shops. In both cases the law was accepted overnight with almost full compliance immediately and permanently. The Irish public were no more going to accept that dirty, unhealthy smoke filled pubs were here to stay than that Dublin should be smothered in dense preventable smog. The cure had been offered and they embraced it with gusto making the Smokfree law the most popular event in 2004 in an RTE national poll.

 

A comprehensive review of the international literature carried out by respected scientists who had not been involved in the campaign and Chaired by Prof Allwright concluded that SHS has many adverse health effects, exposure infringes on the basic human right to good quality air. Problematically from an advocacy stance it stated that further research was required to measure and monitor occupational exposures and adverse health outcomes in Irish workplaces, and that high risk groups, specifically hospitality workers, pregnant workers, and those with genetic susceptibilities to SHS require special consideration. This weakened the rationale for immediate comprehensive legislation and was seized on by the Tobacco industry

International/exogenous factors

Meanwhile, eyes were on the USA where some states were introducing bans on smoking in the workplace which extended to bars and restaurants. These successful examples proved that comprehensive bans were implementable and enforceable, at least in America, and gave a preview of the tobacco industry’s tactics in their effort to subvert legislative measures, which would later be repeated in other jurisdictions.

Kingdon’s (1984) three stream policy model suggests that policy windows open, allowing issues to feature on the political agenda, when the three streams – the problem stream, the policy (solution) stream and the politics stream collide. The NGO demand led by ASH Ireland for a comprehensive ban on workplace smoking (policy stream) was a feasible solution to the problem of workplace exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke (problem stream), which already had significant cross party support led by Michael Martin (politics stream).

Arguments for this model strongly emphasised that hospitality workers were entitled to the same level of protection as government, professional or office workers. Mandate Trade Union, representing workers in the Dublin bar trade, actively advocated for a ban on smoking that extended to all hospitality venues and built support among their membership by giving information to them about the risks to their health of any exemptions in the hospitality sector and played a key role in supporting the Minister for Health’s commitment to a comprehensive workplace smoking ban.  The resulting health benefit and reduction in exposure was closely monitored.

A comprehensive review of the international literature carried out by respected Irish scientists who had not been involved in the campaign concluded that SHS has many adverse health effects, exposure infringes on the basic human right to good quality air. Problematically from an advocacy stance it stated that further research was required to measure and monitor occupational exposures and adverse health outcomes in Irish workplaces, and that high risk groups, specifically hospitality workers, pregnant workers, and those with genetic susceptibilities to SHS require special consideration. This weakened the rationale for immediate comprehensive legislation and was seized on by the Tobacco industry.

2.Professor Gregory Connolly

The Scientific and Moral Roar of the Celtic Tiger

Ireland was the first and possibly least likely nation to adopt the world’s first Clean-In-Door air law in March, 2004. This law protected the health of the most vulnerable of Society from lung cancer among healthy exposed non smokers and bar and restaurant employees as well as respiratory illness particularly among children.  The law was the central element of the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control .  Through this law the small country’s contribution to global health became  immeasurable.  Irish action affirmed the ability of all nations to do the same despite fierce tobacco industry opposition.  More importantly the action made real that the all of the articles of the FCTC could be implemented globally. The roar of the Celtic Tiger was heard in every parliament and Congress throughout the world and was sufficient to counter the false messages of the tobacco industry with science, moral virtue, political leadership and concrete strategies for success. Ireland’s contribution was precise and strategic than simply passing a law. It established clear guidelines for other nations to follow on how to foster social support,  the importance of monitoring compliance with the law once passed, and the need for economic and scientific evaluation of benefits from Clean Indoor Air laws once enacted. 

As the first nation, Ireland willingly providing technical assistance, support, training  and research to every nation that asked.   This contribution contributed to the majority of high income nations passing comprehensive Clean Indoor Air (CIA) laws over time. Yet,  progress has been slower in low and middle income nations with some passing CIA laws but not implementing them. 

This presentation will review how the Irish experience can be translated to all nations including the infrastructure needed to create the social and political will do so as well, methods for assuring compliance and research  needs to prevent attempts to weaken a law.

The presentation will review adoption of CIA laws globally and critically assess actual compliance though presentation of air measurement studies from selective nations. Based on the Irish experience it is clear that regional and international corporation is needed and mechanism must be developed to foster multinational  systems particularly for adoption and compliance.

As new challenges emerge in the 21st century such as the complaints of the multinational companies to the proposed EU directives backed by the US Trade Office,  the scientific and moral roar of the Celtic Tiger maybe the single most important voice for protecting health in low and middle income nations from the new globalized tobacco authoritarianism that fails to value human life.

3. Dr Kristina Mauer-Stender

Tobacco control – the next 10 years

In order to talk about our future vision for tobacco control in Europe, we have to look into the past. What has happened in Europe in tobacco control since the adoption of the first ever international health treaty, WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control ten years ago? Are European adults and youth smoking less? Have countries been committed to health and taken bold actions in tobacco control? Who have been leaders we can be proud of and learn from?

In light of the newly adopted global voluntary targets on non-communicable diseases by 2025, what is the vision of Europe in terms of achieving the global target, 30% decrease in tobacco use in 10 years? Are we ready to look beyond tobacco control and start discussing about a Tobacco Free Europe?

Key questions are what should be done and how to make the 2025 target a reality in Europe? And is a Tobacco Free Europe inspiring and realistic?

4. Dr (Senator) John Crown

Politicians, Scientists, the Tobacco Industry and WHO FCTC Article 5.3

Every day in Ireland, five people get the news that they have incurable fatal lung cancer. In 95% of cases, their illness was caused by smoking. Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in Ireland and other western countries through numerous cancers, heart disease and stroke.

Tobacco kills approximately 100 times more Irish people annually than illegal drugs. If it was discovered tomorrow, it would surely be illegal. Everyone knows smoking is bad for you. Most smokers want to quit. But smoking is an addiction.

Tobacco companies must recruit 50 new tobacco addicts daily just to replace the deaths that are caused by their own products. In 80% of cases, these novice smokers are children. Big tobacco will deny the reality that its business plan can be summed up in four words: “addict children to carcinogens”.

Big tobacco wants more people smoking, whereas public health policy is aimed at reducing and ultimately eliminating tobacco use.  For these reasons, the goals of public health and those of big tobacco are fundamentally incompatible. Their relationship must be perpetually adversarial and unremittingly hostile.

This is why I recently published the Protection of the Public Interest from Tobacco Lobbying Bill, which aimed to restrict and make more transparent, any meetings between the tobacco industry and our Government.

Big tobacco is not and cannot be the Government’s partner in any sort of enterprise.

Big tobacco has just one agenda: it wants to sell tobacco.

Big tobacco is incredibly rich and terrifyingly powerful.

Big tobacco uses the subtle weapons of lobbying, legal intimidation and bribery.

Big tobacco does everything in its power to thwart the tobacco control policies of democratic Governments.

Despite having a campaigning and committed anti-tobacco Minister for Health, the track record of the current Government in respect of tobacco control legislation is poor. I have published two Bills – one is making very slow progress and the other was opposed by the Government.

The Government has passed a Bill which has actually made it easier to sell cheap tobacco to kids. It was forced on us by the European authorities and the commercial authorities. Shame on them for making us do this.

I completely support the Minister’s proposed Bill, which would introduce mandatory plain packaging with explicit health warnings.

Let us be blunt; the tobacco industry imposed the death penalty on our citizens. There is nothing disproportionate about us criminalising any part of its activities.

5. Dr Pat Doorley

Moving towards a tobacco free society in Ireland

Ireland’s largest postgraduate training body for doctors, the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland’s Policy Group on Tobacco is today calling on the Government to continue to adopt strong policy measures to reduce the harm caused by smoking. Dr Doorley will launch the group’s new policy that includes a series of recommendations for the Government.  The group, is calling for smoking in cars where children are present to be completely banned to prevent serious health problems for the next generation. We know that children of smokers exposed to second hand smoke are at risk of the same health problems as those smoking themselves. Indeed research shows that children exposed to second hand in cars, in the home and in other areas can suffer from tobacco related illnesses for up to 25 years later.

The RCPI Policy Group on Tobacco is also calling for a complete smoking ban throughout all publicly funded institutions, particularly hospitals and academic campuses. The RCPI Policy Group on Tobacco is also recommending that the Government continues to increase taxes annually on tobacco, a measure which has been proven in reducing the number of people who are smoking in Ireland.

Other recommendations include:

All expectant mothers should be offered comprehensive, structured support to quit smoking

A national guildeline should be developed to manage smoking during pregnancy.

Regulate the sale of electronic cigarettes. While we welcome the provisions on electronic cigarettes of the EU Tobacco Products Directive, more regulation is needed. The absence of age limits in that directive means that it will continue to be available to children. Further consideration also needs to be given to the efficacy and safety of these products based on best practice evidence.

The Tobacco Policy Group was convened in early 2014 in response to continuing public health consequences associated with tobacco. The overall aim of the policy group is to influence national tobacco policy and legislation, particularly in support of the Tobacco Free Ireland plan launched by the Minister for Health in 2013. The policy group comprises representatives from a range of medical specialties, from within RCPI’s own Faculties and Institute, and from other external bodies such as the Irish College of General Practitioners, the Irish Thoracic Society and the Psychological Society of Ireland.

In response to the continuing public health consequences associated with tobacco, and building on RCPI’s past work on smoking, a policy group on tobacco was established in early 2014.The overall aim of the policy group is to influence national tobacco policy and legislation, particularly in support of the Tobacco Free Ireland plan launched by the Minister for Health in 2013. The policy group comprises representatives from a range of medical specialties, from within RCPI’s own Faculties and Institute, and from other external bodies such as the Irish College of General Practitioners, the Irish Thoracic Society and the Psychological Society of Ireland.  The group has drafted recommendations informed by their own experience, and review of international best practice and research. Pat will highlight trends in smoking prevalence and discuss the group’s recommendations aimed at reducing prevalence further. These recommendations include reference to the support that should be offered to people to quit, and the skills doctors need to provide this support.  

Legislative and national policy measures to further denormalise tobacco smoking and to protect children from second hand smoke will also be discussed, in addition to standardized packaging and taxation.

ASH Ireland, the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and TobaccoFree Research Institute Ireland mark the 10th anniversary of the smoking ban in Ireland on March 24th 2014

ASH Ireland, the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and the TobaccoFree Research Institute Ireland will hold a business breakfast and academic seminar on Monday, 24th March 2014 to mark the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the workplace smoking legislation in Ireland.  These events will take place at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland Building at Number 6, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Minister for Health, James Reilly will address the business breakfast at 8.30 a.m.  Today we announce the full line-up of speakers for the academic seminar as follows:

Time Speaker  Subject
10.10 Professor Luke ClancyTobaccoFree Research Institute Ireland  Evidence to date (post the introduction of the ban)
10.40 Professor Gregory Connolly, Harvard School of Public Health  Smokefree, international experience
11.10 Dr Kristina Mauer-Stender,World Health Organisation  Tobacco control – the next 10 years
11.40 Senator and Professor John Crown,Consultant Oncologist Politicians, scientists, the Tobacco Industry and WHO FCTC Art.5.3  
12.10 Dr Pat Doorley, Chair of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland Policy Group on Tobacco  Moving towards a tobacco free society in Ireland 
12.40 All Speakers Panel discussion and Q&A 

Note to Editors

  1. A Press Conference at 9.30 a.m. will include Minister James Reilly, and representatives from ASH Ireland, the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and the TobaccoFree Research Institute Ireland.
  2. Press statement and extracts from all speakers will be available and issued on the day.
  3. All of the seminar presenters and other spokespeople will be available for media interviews.

ENDS

 

Media Enquiries: 

Siobhán Creaton, Communications Manager Royal College of Physicians of Ireland:

01 8639732 | Mobile 085 8722109 | Email siobhancreaton@rcpi.ie

ASH Ireland:  0818-305055; Email  info@ash.ie

Mr Wally Young, Public Relations Advisor:  087 2471520

20 a day costs the smoker close to €3,500 annually

As we approach ASH Wednesday – a time when many smokers will be attempting to quit; it may be a time to highlight the annual financial cost of smoking to the individual smoker. The 20 a day smoker will spend close to €3,500 annually on cigarettes. This is a significant cost which most smokers would definitely wish to avoid. The 20 a day smoker can expect to spend close to €200,000 on cigarettes in the course of a lifetime.

Dr Ross Morgan, Chairman of ASH Ireland said today, “Ash Wednesday is the day chosen by many people to quit smoking. We encourage all smokers to realise that quitting is possible, and for most success will not be achieved at the first attempt. The main benefits to the person who quits smoking are in the area of health – and these benefits emerge very soon after quitting. There are also the financial considerations; the 20 a day smoker will spend roughly €3,500 annually on cigarettes. Much of this cost is on taxes and the remainder enhances the profits of the tobacco industry. I encourage smokers, the vast majority who want to quit, to consider quitting – and this is a good time to make that key decision”.

The national smokers Quitline can be contacted on 1800 201 203.

Various items of research shows that up to 70% of smokers wish to quit at any given time. Despite the well-established addiction to nicotine, many smokers quit each year. The key to quitting is the personal decision to quit. We advise people to seek the assistance of their GP, the support of family and friends and to consider the use various nicotine replacement therapies, which are now available.

The established smoker smokes to satisfy an addiction and in doing so contributes to the massive profits of the tobacco industry, who themselves are well aware of the addiction versus profit connection.

Dr Morgan concluded by saying, “If the smoker can make that key decision to quit and break the link with the addiction to nicotine, both health and financial benefits will quickly follow”.

 

Ends

For contact:

ASH Ireland 0818 305055

Wally Young, Young Communications – 087 2471520