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.”

For contact: E  or  T 0818 305055

Outdoor areas and secondhand smoke: some facts

Secondhand smoke (SHS), also called environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), is a mixture of two forms of smoke that come from burning tobacco: mainstream smoke (the smoke exhaled by a smoker) and sidestream smoke (the smoke from the lighted end of a cigarette, pipe, or cigar, or tobacco burning in a hookah.

Prohibiting tobacco use in outdoor areas such as parks, playgrounds, beaches, access areas, outdoor restaurants and football stadia provides several benefits. As there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and exposure to secondhand smoke can occur in outdoor areas, bans in areas where people congregate can be justified on health grounds, particularly for those at increased risk of respiratory problems e.g., asthmatics.

Cigarette butts and other tobacco product wastes are the most common items picked up in urban and beach cleanups worldwide. Prohibiting smoking in these areas will greatly reduce cigarette butt litter, thereby enhancing the locations both visually and environmentally, and reducing fire risk.

Only 18 per cent of our population are now daily smokers. The experience in other countries like Canada and the UK is that smoke free outdoor spaces contribute to the normalisation of tobacco free lifestyles, making the healthy choice the easy choice.

“Denormalisation” strategies aim to make smoking-related behaviours less visible. Prohibiting tobacco use in outdoor areas reduces visibility and will also contribute therefore to the reduction of the social acceptability of smoking. Denormalisation of smoking assists young people in making healthy choices around experimenting with tobacco, assists current smokers in considering the decision to quit and facilitates continued abstinence in ex-smokers.

ASH Ireland initiated the ‘outdoor smokefree’ project in Ireland and has been pivotal in its success. Over the past eight years, ASH Ireland has advanced the ‘outdoor smokefree’ project in Ireland through engagement with county councils, national sports bodies, the Office of Public Works, Iarnród Éireann, and the third-level education sector. In line with Irish society becoming better informed on the health risks, there is a general momentum towards ‘outdoor smokefree’; the denormalisation of smoking is widely accepted and the industry has lost its clout with the decision-makers and society.

In Dublin, the Aviva stadium is entirely smokefree and Croke Park is partially so. The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) is currently working on a smokfree trial project with a number of its clubs. Over 80% of our public playgrounds are smokefree, as are two third-level education institutions, with others deeply engaged in the ‘going smokefree’ process. Many of our hospitals are now smokefree, an initiative being driven by the Health Service Executive.


One in every two people who smoke will die from a smoking-related disease

Quitting tobacco is the best thing people can do for their health. Tobacco is a very powerful addiction and children become addicted within weeks. People may be unaware that they are addicted until they make an attempt to quit. They may have to make multiple attempts to quit. Many smokers have to make six or more attempts before they finally succeed in giving up smoking and it is not unusual for people to have to make up to 20 attempts to quit.

Tobacco should not be treated as a product like any other. It is the most lethal consumer product ever marketed and, uniquely, kills when it is used exactly as it is supposed to be used. It is reliably estimated that at least one in every two people who smokes will die from a tobacco-related disease.

For more see

ASH Ireland welcomes major international conference on tobacco to Dublin in 2021

ASH Ireland welcomes the ‘The World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH)’ to Dublin in 2021. All involved are to be congratulated on winning the bid for a major international conference, which will bring over 2,500 delegates to Dublin. The Dublin success was announced at the end of the 17th World Conference on Tobacco or Health, held in South Africa last weekend. Read more

ASH Ireland urges smokers to try quitting this Ash Wednesday


Over €4,000 per annum can be saved by quitting

ASH Ireland encourages all smokers to try quitting this ASH Wednesday (Tomorrow 1st March). ASH Wednesday has traditionally been a day when people try to quit smoking and it is a good time to make the decision, as others will be doing something similar at this time. Read more

ASH Ireland welcomes new Board member

Statement from Dr Patrick Doorley, Chairman of ASH Ireland

Ms. Shane Allwright
Prof Shane Allwright has joined the Board of Directors of ASH Ireland

All of us at ASH Ireland are very pleased that Professor Shane Allwright, formerly of Trinity College, has accepted an invitation to join the board.

ASH Ireland continually seeks people at board level who have the motivation and expertise to continue the fight against tobacco – and Professor Allwright’s reputation in this field is well established and recognised at national and international level. Read more