Saturday 21 October 2017

Teens smoking 20 cigarettes a day

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

NEARLY one in five teenagers is smoking, with many boys getting through a pack of 20 cigarettes daily.

Girls are more likely to smoke than boys and 71pc of both are having five or more cigarettes a day. But boys who light up get through more cigarettes than their female counterparts.

The high levels of smoking among 16 to 19 year olds comes despite 69pc knowing that cigarettes damage the heart.

And 63pc know somebody affected by heart disease or stroke, with many having parents on medication for cardiac problems, the findings from an Irish Heart Foundation survey have revealed.

The survey found one in two is eating half their meals in front of the television -- but around a quarter say they can cook with pasta, pizza, sandwiches, meat and fish featuring most frequently on the menus.

The findings on lifestyle habits of teens in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Athlone were launched by Michael Murphy, the captain of All-Ireland winning Donegal team, who studies sports science in Dublin City University.

He was promoting a new heart-health competition called 'Pumped!'. The competition, backed by the Irish Heart Foundation and Bayer Healthcare, involves video entries from teams of students under different headings.

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn commented: "Young people's voices should be heard in discussions about health and this is what Pumped! does."

Irish Independent

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