One-in-five Irish people are smokers

One in five Irish people are smokers, and eight out of 10 want to quit, new research shows.

MRBI Research commissioned by Irish Cancer Society shows more than half of those who want to quit plan to do so within the next three months.

The findings are being released today to mark the start of Quit Week when smokers are encouraged to stop and are made aware of the many benefits of doing so.

The research was based on interviews with 1,000 adults in January and the Irish Cancer Society believes it shows that Ireland is making good progress in the aim to be tobacco-free by 2025.

It also says it is encouraged by the results of this poll which will ultimately mean fewer people will die unnecessarily as a result of smoking which is the single biggest cause of preventable death in Ireland.

The research shows 57% of smokers intend to quit in the next three month, with 83% planning to stop within the next year.

The main incentive for smokers planning to give up was concern for their future health (71%), with the expense involved in maintaining the habit the second most cited reason.

Almost a third (31%) said the price of cigarettes was a factor in their decision to give up. More than six out of 10 of all respondents are in favour of increasing the price of cigarettes.

Four out of five smokers planning to give up said family and friends would be their main source of support when quitting, followed by their GP (69%), pharmacists (67%), the HSE (44%) and community support services (31%).

Health promotion manager at the Irish Cancer Society Kevin O’Hagan said the research showed that a large number of smokers were planning to quit in the near future.

“We know that quitting smoking can sometimes seem like a huge challenge, but we want smokers to know that there is support available to them,” he said.

Mr O’Hagan said it was important that family and friends knew how to support their loved one in quitting. “Quitting is difficult, but with the right support around them, smokers have a greater chance of success,” he said.

lThose looking to find support on quitting smoking or how they can offer support to a smoker should visit the Irish Cancer Society’s website www.cancer.ie/reduce-your-risk/smoking.

The National Smokers’ Quitline, 1800 201203, is a partnership between the HSE and the Irish Cancer Society. Smokers are encouraged to call for information, advice, support and a quit booklet.

Information and support is also available through www.quit.ie

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