Decline in numbers smoking: Still a long way to go for society

Decline in numbers smoking: Still a long way to go for society

A survey shows the number of smokers has dropped by an estimated 165,000 over the last five years.

The findings are contained in the latest Healthy Ireland Survey from the Department of Health. The survey shows that 17% of the population are smokers, down from 23% in 2015, a small but significant drop.

The study also appears to justify the decision to force tobacco manufacturers to introduce plain packaging as one in four smokers of the 7,500 surveyed said the plain packaging with health warnings that was introduced last year had encouraged them to stop.

That’s the good news, but the not so good news is that smoking rates among the 25 to 34 age group remain highest. They are also high among people who are unemployed or living in deprived areas. In addition, 9% of parents who participated in the survey smoke.

Health Minister Simon Harris was quick to take credit for the good news, declaring: “This shows that our multi-pronged approach, with legislation, support for smoking cessation, and policies to denormalise smoking in our society, is bearing fruit and we are heading in the right direction to being a tobacco-free Ireland.”

Credit must be given for the drop in overall numbers but the fact that we are rearing another generation of smokers means we still have a long way to go.

More on this topic

Plain packaging of cigarettes credited with drop in number of smokersPlain packaging of cigarettes credited with drop in number of smokers

Apple bans vaping apps over health concernsApple bans vaping apps over health concerns

'Pro-vaping lobby mimicking advertising used by the tobacco companies 50 years ago,' Cork doctor warns'Pro-vaping lobby mimicking advertising used by the tobacco companies 50 years ago,' Cork doctor warns

No ifs or butts... Call to ban smoking on beachesNo ifs or butts... Call to ban smoking on beaches

More in this Section

Boris must hope luck will hold as hard work beginsBoris must hope luck will hold as hard work begins

Wins built by making honesty the real loserWins built by making honesty the real loser

A carbon-free Europe planned in 30 yearsA carbon-free Europe planned in 30 years

Letter to the Editor: English people push home democratic decision of 2016Letter to the Editor: English people push home democratic decision of 2016


Lifestyle

Want to be cultured this Christmas? From TV to podcasts to books, Ed Power has the definite list of everything you missed this year - so you can curl up on the couch and catch upThe definite list of everything you missed this year

Artist Ciara Rodgers teaches older people how to rediscover their creativity and regain confidence, says Rowena WalshBrush with art: Discovering your creative side in later life

Furniture, paintings, jewellery and silver are on offer at James Adam in Dublin, writes Des O’SullivanAll set for home run: See what's on offer at the James Adam sale in Dublin

It’s not too late to hunt out a unique gift. Des O’Sullivan previews sales in the lead-up to the festive seasonA flurry of auctions in Munster sets the scene for Christmas

More From The Irish Examiner