World No Tobacco Day 31 May 2018


While recognising that Ireland has made good progress over the last decade
in decreasing smoking prevalence among adults and children*, the current
rate of progress is not adequate to achieve the adult prevalence target
of 5% by 2025; as set out by a previous Government.

Dr Patrick Doorley, Chairman of ASH Ireland said today, “We are now
urging the Government to introduce more intensive measures to ensure that the 5%
target is met seven years from now. The good news is that smoking
prevalence among children is at an all-time low and it appears therefore
that we are on track to achieve the target of 5% for children. The
reduction of smoking among young people is bad news for the tobacco
industry as new recruits are required to replace those 6,000 of our
citizens who die from tobacco related disease annually.”

The sad and tragic reality of tobacco addiction is disease, disability
and death. Given that 6,000 people die each year from tobacco-related
diseases,we cannot afford to become complacent about the issue of tobacco

Dr Doorley continued, “In recent years ASH Ireland has driven the
development of smokefree outdoor spaces – in children’s playgrounds, parks, sports
stadia, and higher education institutions. In 2013, the government committed to a
number of measures in its strategy TFI (Tobacco Free Ireland), including
the possibility of banning smoking in some outdoor spaces. We now call on
the Government to implement new anti-smoking measures, particularly in
outdoor spaces that are frequented by children. We hold the view, based on
past experience, that such measures will have the support of the Irish

Additional protective measures against the harmful effects of
environmental tobacco smoke may well be opposed by vested interests.  The
tobacco industry and its allies will strongly oppose these measures in
order to protect its profits, so their position on such health matters
should be entirely ignored.”

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