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Smoking rates at less than 20pc for the first time

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Minister for Health Leo Varadkar TD  Dr. Stephanie O'Keefe National Director for Health & Wellbeing with & Adam Remond dressed as "Sean" a mascot to quit smoking at the launch of a new QUIT Presonal Support services to help thise quitters-providing a team of trained advisors, interactive digital tools,empathy & support and making them twice as likely to quit for good

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar TD Dr. Stephanie O'Keefe National Director for Health & Wellbeing with & Adam Remond dressed as "Sean" a mascot to quit smoking at the launch of a new QUIT Presonal Support services to help thise quitters-providing a team of trained advisors, interactive digital tools,empathy & support and making them twice as likely to quit for good

gerry collouins

gerry collouins

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Minister for Health Leo Varadkar TD Dr. Stephanie O'Keefe National Director for Health & Wellbeing with & Adam Remond dressed as "Sean" a mascot to quit smoking at the launch of a new QUIT Presonal Support services to help thise quitters-providing a team of trained advisors, interactive digital tools,empathy & support and making them twice as likely to quit for good

IT'S New Year's resolution time again and Health Minister Leo Varadkar was out encouraging smokers to quit in 2015.

Launching the QUIT campaign, Mr Varadkar hailed figures showing that the number of smokers in Ireland may have fallen below 20pc for the first time.

But he warned that against complacency saying that quitting is the best thing any smoker can do for their health.

"The QUIT service that the HSE has had in place for two years is enormously effective and you are twice as likely to successfully give up smoking if you engage with that," he said.

"We are encouraging everyone who is thinking about giving up smoking to give up and not to try and do it on their own, to use the supports that are there available to them."

Trained advisors will be immediately available to anyone who contacts the updated QUIT service from the HSE across a range of channels both online and by phone.

The QUIT team offers constant support throughout the initial quitting period with smokers generally speaking to the same advisor every time they call. Dr Stephanie O'Keefe, National Director for Health and Wellbeing said Ireland still has a "big problem" with smoking.

"We do now have more ex-smokers in Ireland than we have smokers so it means we can tap into a huge resource of thousands of people online who are willing to support and help which is amazing," she said.

"Really the campaign is about providing any kind of support that might get people through the really rough patch at the start of the quitting period."

She said smokers lose ten years of "quality life" with one in every two destined to die from a tobacco-related disease.

"We have brought all the different parts of the service together into one fully integrated support network so however you want to contact the service, we will be there for you," she said.

She said the QUIT campaign has encouraged over 500,000 quit attempts since 2011 with all services provided free of charge.

hnews@herald.ie


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