‘Quit Smoking’ – New guidelines to help smokers quit as one in six adults in Ireland smoke daily

A new set of clinical guidelines for healthcare professionals to help smokers quit has been released today.

he guidelines, called ‘Stop Smoking’, are intended to help doctors and other healthcare professionals best advise adults to quit smoking and not to smoke.

Around one in six adults in Ireland (16%) smoke daily, while 18% of adults in total are currently classified as smokers.

Within the under-25 age group, men are significantly more likely to smoke than women (19% and 11%, respectively), according to a 2021 Health Ireland survey.

Tobacco Free Ireland is Ireland’s national tobacco control policy and sets a target for Ireland to be tobacco free by 2025.

For the first time in Ireland, however, the survey found that smoking rates are now highest among people aged 45 to 54, whereas in previous years they were highest in groups younger ages, indicating a decline in smoking rates among younger generations.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly welcomed the new guidelines and said the measures taken “will bring us closer to our goal of becoming a tobacco-free society”, while adding that “Ireland is recognized worldwide as a leader and innovator in tobacco control”.

“This national clinical guideline is not only an important resource for our healthcare professionals to help those wishing to quit smoking, but it is also an acknowledgment of the significant harm to public health caused by tobacco use and a signal of our continued commitment to reducing and ultimately eliminating this damage,” Mr. Donnelly said.

Smoking is the leading preventable cause of illness, disability and premature death in Ireland and smokers are concerned about the impact it has on their lives and those of their loved ones, says specialist Dr Paul Kavanagh of Public Health at the HSE and Chair of the Guidelines Development Group.

“Most want to quit, but too many try to quit without support. Yet there are three simple yet powerful steps that every healthcare professional can take to maximize a person who smokes’ chances of successful quitting – asking questions about smoking, offering advice on how to quit, and providing practical support by organizing a referral to a smoking cessation and quit smoking counselor. medications.

“These new national clinical guidelines describe evidence-based best practices for healthcare professionals who help people quit smoking. For smokers, the guidelines provide certainty about the safe, good quality care they can expect,” Dr Kavanagh said.

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death, disease and disability worldwide, with the World Health Organization (WHO) describing it as one of the greatest public health threats to which the world has ever faced. More than 8 million people worldwide die each year as a direct result of tobacco use or exposure to second-hand smoke.

Along with using evidence-based approaches to “remove the visibility of tobacco products from everyday life”, Minister of State Frank Feighan said all interventions available to government should be used, ” legislative, policy, cessation support and tax measures – to support people to quit smoking and prevent tobacco initiation”.

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