Help at hand to kick bad habits

AFTER a boozy and smoky Christmas period of overindulgence, it’s almost time for the annual New Year’s resolutions of abstinence to kick in.

For those eager to avoid or lessen their intake of booze and cigarettes for the coming year, help is at hand. have designed an online tool which will help people keep their New Year’s booze pledges beyond the first couple of days.

On its website, consumers can create a personal online drinks diary, which allows them to add up the number of drinks they consume in a week and compare their drinking with the recommended weekly limits.

Chief executive of Fionnuala Sheehan encouraged people to use the resource in the coming year.

“This year, we are encouraging people to utilise the tools on that will help them keep their New Year’s resolutions past January.

“ is full of practical facts and tips about alcohol, drinking responsibly, and ensuring that you enjoy and remember your nights out for all the right reasons,” she said.

For those with a wish to stop smoking, Boots has launched a free stop smoking service, Stop for Good.

The service is a three month, four step programme incorporating one-to-one support and advice. It involves an initial meeting with an advisor at which the customer’s smoking habits are discussed and assessed.

The advisor will then help develop a personalised plan. Customers taking part in the programme will also have their carbon monoxide levels monitored using a simple breath test.

Health promotion manager with the Irish Cancer Society Norma Cronin welcomed the service.

“Smoking is the most preventable cause of cancer and is responsible for 30% of all cancers, including 95% of lung cancers. The long term-health effects of smoking cannot be over-emphasised but the health benefits of quitting smoking start immediately,” she said.

Chief executive of the Asthma Society of Ireland Dr Jean Holohan also welcomed the programme.

“The Asthma Society of Ireland would strongly encourage anyone with asthma considering giving up smoking to take part in Stop for Good,” she said.


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