Belfast Telegraph

New quit smoking campaign warning

Health chiefs have launched a new quit smoking drive with a stark warning - half of all smokers will die from their habit.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) is hoping the shock statistic will force tobacco users into at least trying to give up.

Dr Fenton Howell, the HSE's director of public health, said the figure was not well known.

"Surprisingly only 7% of people know that one in every two smokers will die of a tobacco-related disease," he said.

"Our aim is to make people realise the effect smoking has on their health, and that of their loved ones, and give them encouragement and help to quit."

He urged smokers to use supports like the national smokers' Quitline, online help, smoking cessation services or medications, which are twice as likely to help people succeed.

Smoking is the single biggest cause of illness, disability and death in Ireland.

Dr Howell said eight in 10 smokers say they want to quit while half that number try to quit every year.

Most smokers give it up for good after a few attempts, he added. "Many of them feel that quitting is too hard, that they won't make it - or that they will do it tomorrow, next month, when they're 30, or when they're 40," said Dr Howell.

"Our campaign will remind smokers that it's never too late, and that quitting is worth it."

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