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New drive to help smokers quit habit

A nationwide quit smoking service is being launched across the country by pharmacists today as the man who became the face of a HSE anti-smoking campaign is laid to rest.

Smoking kills 5,200 people in this country each year with one in every two smokers dying from smoking-related diseases.

Today community pharmacists nationwide are offering advice to the public on quitting smoking and the health-related benefits.

The pharmacists will also give information and advice on options for quitting like nicotine replacement therapies, which have been proven to double smokers' chances of success.


The campaign comes as the funeral of Gerry Collins (57), the former footballer who headed up an anti-smoking campaign, takes place in his native Greystones today.

Gerry died from lung cancer on Sunday surrounded by his family and friends.

He will be buried this afternoon at Redford Cemetery after a Requiem Mass at the Holy Rosary Church in Greystones.

He is survived by his wife Delly, children Lisa, Stephen and Ciara, mother Phyllis, sister Rosemary, brothers Declan and Paddy, daughter-in-law Karina and grandson Noah.

The community pharmacy initiative today is supported by the Irish Cancer Society and the HSE.

In launching the initiative, Health Minister James Reilly said: "Let there be no doubt – the single best thing a smoker can do for their health is to quit."