An article published today in the ‘New England Journal of Medicine’ raises some vitally important issues in regard to smoking, which cannot be ignored. This article again, which is based on independent research, finds that tripling world-wide taxes on tobacco would cut smoking levels by one third and prevent over 200 million premature deaths this century. This research again confirms that price increase is the most significant factor in encouraging people to quit and deterring young people from experimenting with tobacco.
Dr Ross Morgan, Chairperson of ASH Ireland said today “this research highlights the importance of governments using taxation and related price increase as a way of encouraging people to quit. Based on this study, it does seem that smoking prevalence in Ireland could be reduced to approximately 14% of the population if significant price increases were introduced. This reduction in smoking prevalence would also have a significant impact on the massive expenditure on smoking related disease in this country; estimated to be in excess of €1 billion per annum”.
It is interesting to note that the research published today finds that the international Tobacco Industry makes approximately €36 billion in profits each year, which is approximately €9,000 for each smoking related death.
Dr Morgan went on to say “at present roughly half a billion children and adults worldwide under the age of 35 are smokers and it is dreadful to think that up to 50% of these will die prematurely or have serious health issues because of their smoking. As smoking is so addictive many people will find it difficult to quit once they commence the habit – and as a consequence they become a contributor to Tobacco Industry profits for the remainder of their lives.”
Regretfully over 5,200 people die in this country each year because they smoke and it is imperative that the government uses every possible tool to encourage these people to quit. The research published today shows that smokers who quit before the age of 40 reduce their risk of dying from the effects of tobacco use by up to 90%.
Published article available to download from http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMra1308383
For contact: ASH Ireland: 0818-305055
Wally Young, Young Communications: 087-2471520