Question to the Minister for Health (Mr James Reilly, TD)
To ask the Minister for Health the number of person’s who died from smoking related diseases in 2012; the amount of expenditure dedicated to anti-smoking advertisement’s on TV in 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer
For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 1st October 2013
With regard to the Deputy’s query on the number of smoking related deaths last year, I wish to inform him that although figures are not routinely collated on persons who die from smoking related diseases, it has been estimated that at least 5,200 people die from diseases caused by tobacco use each year. This represents approximately 19% of all deaths. The breakdown of the 5,200 deaths is as follows: cancers 44%; circulatory diseases 30%; respiratory diseases 25%; digestive diseases 1%.
The health education campaign QUIT, aimed at encouraging smokers to quit, was initiated by the HSE in 2011. It incorporates paid media (TV, radio, bus shelters, etc.), public relations, online and phone support, counselling and clinics, special events and promotions, all aimed at the core target audience of smokers aged 25-39. The campaign has shown marked and sustained increases in the numbers of people seeking help to quit. As the campaign is operated directly by the HSE, I have referred your query on costs to the HSE for direct reply to you.
Finally, I am very pleased to inform the Deputy that I am due to launch the new Irish tobacco policy, Tobacco Free Ireland, on Thursday, 3 October. It sets out a plan to reduce the number of people smoking in this country to 5% in 2025. It outlines a suite of measures to tackle the problem, in recognition of the fact that no one element in isolation can be effective in reducing tobacco consumption.