Friday 20 April 2018

Two new ads featuring the late Gerry Collins to air today

Anti-smoking campaigner Gerry Collins died on Sunday.
Anti-smoking campaigner Gerry Collins died on Sunday.

Two new HSE ads featuring the late Gerry Collins and his family will be aired today.

The two HSE Quit ads are being broadcast, on the day of Mr Collins' burial, with the blessing of the Collins family.

As an anti-smoking campaigner, Mr Collins (57) shared his experience of battling with terminal lung cancer.

The HSE estimates that over 60,000 people in Ireland have made quit attempts this year thanks to his work. 

Mr Collins’ new ads tell more of his story and his thoughts about smoking and his terminal illness.

In his second HSE QUIT advertisement, he talks about his three children and what he loves and admires about them.

He talks about how he will miss them, and not being there for them in the future.

On the day of his funeral, the two ads will provide a poignant and stark reminder of the detrimental effects of smoking.

Mr Collins went public in the hope of inspiring other people to quit smoking and to help others avoid the pain of illness and bereavement as a result of smoking. 

He originally took part in a HSE anti smoking campaign in 2011 after overcoming throat cancer three years earlier.

However, in June last year, Mr Collins was diagnosed with the disease for a second time, with doctors informing him he had terminal lung cancer and had less than a year to live.

He died at Blackrock Hospice on Sunday surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife Delly and children Lisa, Ciara and Stephen.

Some incentives to quit smoking, issued by the HSE:

• Within 20 minutes your circulation will improve, your heart rate and blood pressure will get lower. This reduces your risk of heart attack straight away.

• Within 8 hours the carbon monoxide level in your blood will drop and the oxygen level will go up.

• Within 24-48 hours all the carbon monoxide will have left your body.

• Within a few days your sense of smell and taste will start to improve.  

• After 72 hours your breathing will improve and your energy levels will increase.

• Within 2 or 3 months your lung capacity can increase by up to 30%.  

• Within 1 year your chance of heart attack drops by half and within 10 years the risk drops to almost the same as a non-smoker.

• Within 5 years the risk of smoking related cancers will be greatly reduced.

• Once you give up, your lungs start to fight back by coughing up tar. A mug full of tar builds up in the lungs of a 20 a day smoker over the period of a year. It is the toxic chemicals in tar that cause cancer.

Importantly, no matter what age you are when you give up smoking, you will:

• look and feel better.

• have fresher breath and cleaner teeth, hair, skin and fingers.

• be fitter and have more energy.

• reduce your risk of illness.

• reduce the complications of existing illnesses.

• have a better quality of life.

• be a good role model for your children or grandchildren.

• have more money.

• have a healthier family as they will not be exposed to your second-hand smoke

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