Plain packaging of cigarettes credited with drop in number of smokers

Changes to packaging were introduced by the government last year to encourage people to stop smoking.

Plain packaging of cigarettes credited with drop in number of smokers

Plain packaging of tobacco products is being branded a success, with the number of smokers here dropping by 165,000 in the last five years.

Changes to packaging were introduced by the government last year to encourage people to stop smoking.

17% of the population now smoke, down from 23% in 2015.

One in four who took part in the Healthy Ireland survey said plain packaging had encouraged them to give up.

Minister for Health Simon Harris said: "I welcome the findings of this year’s Healthy Ireland Survey and in particular the continued drop in the smoking rate.

“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.”

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