'Satisfaction with life is quite poor' among young smokers

The HSE is warning of the threat smoking poses to children on World No Tobacco Day today.

'Satisfaction with life is quite poor' among young smokers

The HSE is warning of the threat smoking poses to children on World No Tobacco Day today.

The number of young people who smoke here has dropped sharply in recent years from 23% in 1998 to 8% in 2014.

It says while this is welcome, it still means around one in 10 children and teenagers aged 10-17 are smoking.

HSE Consultant in Public Health Medicine and Advisor Dr Paul Kavanagh says it leads to poor health.

"What we found was that compared to children who don't smoke, children who smoke regularly are over three times more likely to report that their health is poor," said Dr Kavanagh.

"They are also more likely to report a range of different symptoms including headaches, backaches and stomach aches and feeling anxious or irritable.

"Also overall their satisfaction with life is quite poor."

Meanwhile, the Irish Cancer Society and Irish Heart Foundation are calling on the Government to ramp up efforts to help smokers quit.

Four in 10 smokers have tried to kick the habit in the last 12 months.

Irish Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Manager Kevin O'Hagan says deaths can be prevented.

"Well on World No Tobacco Day we want to remind the Government that tobacco is still the biggest preventable killer in Ireland," said Mr O'Hagan.

"6,000 people are still dying from disease caused by smoking each year.

"Our call out today is to try and remind the Government how important it is to support people who want to quit."

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