Thursday 8 December 2016

Smoking therapies will be put to the test by patient watchdog

Published 13/01/2016 | 02:30

Smoking rates in Ireland among adults have dropped to under 20pc, but it remains the leading cause of avoidable death in the country
Smoking rates in Ireland among adults have dropped to under 20pc, but it remains the leading cause of avoidable death in the country

The countless number of aids to help smokers quit are to be examined and assessed by the patient safety watchdog, the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa).

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E-cigarettes will be among the props to be probed as part of the assessment.

The Department of Health has asked the watchdog to examine a variety of different treatments that are available.

Smoking rates in Ireland among adults have dropped to under 20pc, but it remains the leading cause of avoidable death in the country.

Dr Máirín Ryan, Hiqa's director of health technology assessment, said the results of its examination would inform health policy decisions.

It was an assessment of the evidence around the effectiveness - including the cost effectiveness - of smoking cessation interventions, she said.

"We will be looking at nicotine replacement therapy; drugs that decrease cravings associated with tobacco; counselling therapies and e-cigarettes," she said.

"We will publish the assessment by the end of the year."

Dr Ryan said that the data would be used to predict the benefits and cost effectiveness of the treatments.

Irish Independent

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