Cigarettes kill half of all smokers, stark new figures show
Published 13/06/2011 | 05:00
CIGARETTES kill one in every two Irish smokers.
The stark statistic was released by the Health Service Executive (HSE) yesterday as it launched a new campaign aimed at helping smokers quit.
Every year, 5,500 Irish people die from tobacco-related diseases, with one in every two smokers dying from a smoking-related disease.
The new HSE campaign highlights the range of supports available to smokers to encourage them to try to quit and gives them advice on what they can do to ensure their quit attempt succeeds.
A new website -- www.quit.ie -- and a Facebook page have been set up to offer useful tips on how to kick the habit.
Dr Fenton Howell, director of public health with the HSE, said a total of 80pc of Irish smokers said they wanted to quit, with 40pc trying to quit every year.
Dr Howell said Ireland still had about one million smokers, but on the positive side, there were also hundreds of thousands who had managed to quit successfully.
"Surprisingly, only 7pc of people know that one in every two smokers will die of a tobacco-related disease. Our aim is to make people realise the effect smoking has on their health, and that of their loved ones, and give them encouragement and help to quit," he said.
"We all know someone who has been ill or died as a result of a tobacco-related disease. By offering support services, encouragement, help and advice, we can all encourage smokers to keep trying to quit," he added.
Dr Howell emphasised that most smokers knew that cigarettes were bad for them.
"Many of them feel that quitting is too hard, that they won't make it -- or that they will do it tomorrow, next month, when they're 30, or when they're 40," he said.
"Our campaign will remind smokers that it's never too late, and that quitting is worth it. Most people try to quit a few times before quitting for good, and each time, they gain skills and confidence that help them to take that permanent step," he added.
Anyone seeking help in quitting cigarettes for good, should visit www.quit.ie.