FAMILIES were urged to help relatives stub out smoking with a new product which, it was claimed, helps 60% of people kick the habit.
MEP Gay Mitchell presented the new Irish-produced quit smoking aid in the European Parliament. The company producing the product, NicoBloc, says it reduces the amount of tar and nicotine inhaled from smoked cigarettes.
Mr Mitchell said as a child he had only been weeks away from his sixth birthday when his father, 54, a smoker, died of lung cancer.
Two of his brothers and a sister, who were not smokers, have since died from cancer.
“In almost all cases smoking is an addiction, and the smoker has to be prepared to give up smoking and have a support structure in place to help them. Very often that support structure includes family and friends, but smokers often need an aid to help them during the difficult first days and weeks,” he said.
“Nicotine is more addictive than heroin. Over half of all patients admitted to St James’s Hospital, Dublin have smoking-related illnesses,” he said.
He was speaking as the Irish company presented research to MEPs which showed its anti-smoking product was weaning large numbers off cigarettes.
NicoBloc is a liquid which users put on the filter of cigarettes. The substance traps tar and nicotine before it leaves the cigarette.
However, rather than acting as a substitute, like other smoke free products such as nicotine patches, it helps stops smoking.
Users add one drop on each cigarette in the first week, two on each one in the second and three in the third.
Each NicoBloc drop reduces nicotine intake by one third leaving just under 1% going through the filter after three weeks, said managing director Ger Hayes.
NicoBloc is available in only a small number of chemists without prescription however it will be officially launched nationwide in August.
Packs of NicoBloc cost €30 and include a DVD, details of a helpline and advice about the product.
See www.nicobloc.com for more information.
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