ASH Ireland encourages all smokers to try quitting this ASH Wednesday (March 1). 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.
Dr Patrick Doorley, Chairman of ASH Ireland said, “It is well established that over 70% of smokers wish to quit and are often seeking opportunities to make the decision and proceed. ASH Wednesday is an ideal opportunity. Quitting will have an immediate positive impact on the smokers health and this will increase in the weeks and months ahead. There is also the economic impact of quitting; a 20-a-day smoker will spend over €4000 per annum on cigarettes and this can be put to so many other positive uses, such as holidays and day to day spending.”
Dr Doorley continued, “I would encourage smokers to contact the National Smokers Quitline on Freephone 1800 201 203, where assistance is available. Smokers can also use the various Nicotine Replacement Therapies, which are available in chemists, as an aid to quitting. We encourage any method that will assist smokers to quit and break the habit. Smokers should also be aware that most smokers who quit will have made a number of attempts before being successful."
Regretfully close to 6000 people die from the effects of smoking in Ireland each year and it is imperative that all possible measures are taken to reduce this dreadful statistic.
Dr Doorley continued, “In this context it is important that the Government push ahead and ensure that plain packaging emerges on the Irish market as speedily as possible. The success of the introduction of plain packaging in Australia is well documented - after the ‘brand marketing packs’ were banished from the shelves. The benefits from the introduction of plain packaging in Ireland can of course begin much sooner than May 20, 2018; should the tobacco industry not insist on a 12-month wash-out period after the legislation is finally enacted.”