Nearly 100 people die each week in Ireland due to smoking related illness

Nearly 100 people die each week in Ireland due to smoking related illness

NEARLY 100 people die each week in Ireland due to health issues caused by smoking, the government has confirmed.

In a statement made to mark National No Smoking Day, which falls today, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly highlighted the “sad” figures relating to the outcomes for those who smoke tobacco products.

"Smoking tobacco products is highly addictive,” he said.

“Sadly, each week in Ireland almost 100 people die and 1,000 people are hospitalised because of preventable harm caused by smoking, and this must change,” he added.

Minister Donnelly and Ireland’s Minister for Public Health, Hildegarde Naughton went on to praise the efforts of those who are trying to quit the habit.

Some 19,000 people in Ireland contacted the Health Service Executive’s (HSE) Quit Programme in 2023.

Under the programme, medicines like nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) are now available for free across the country and have proven to significantly help those who want to quit smoking.

The use of NRT products in Ireland has risen by nearly 10 per cent in the past four years.

Nearly 100 people die in Ireland each week due to smoking related illness

“The good news is that the number of people seeking support to stop smoking is at the highest ever recorded in the history of the health service,” Mr Donnelly said.

"This demonstrates a real desire from people to kick the habit for good.

“It takes courage and commitment to stop smoking and I congratulate every person that smokes who takes that first step toward a healthier life."

Minister Naughton added: "Great strides have been made with the percentage of the population who smoke falling from 23 per cent in 2015 to 18 per cent in 2022.

"This year around 22,000 people are expected to engage with HSE stop smoking services, of which a quarter will require medical intervention and supports. I was pleased to secure €1.82 million to assist people in kicking the habit this year,” she added.

"We are optimistic the trend showing a downward trajectory towards a smoke-free society will continue with the help of medicines like Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) now available for free.

“I would encourage anyone who smokes to connect with the HSE's Quit Programme and quit smoking for a happier and healthier life."