14/03/2012

NI Smokers Urged To Quit

People are being urged to kick their smoking habit to mark the official No Smoking Day 2012 following claims that 24% of NI's adult population smoke.

According to recent statistics smoking still kills almost 2,300 people each year in Northern Ireland and leaves thousands more are living with debilitating illnesses as a result of their addiction.

Health Minister Edwin Poorts has urged all smokers to "take the leap" and kick the smoking habit on No Smoking Day 2012.
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Mr Poots said: "Quitting smoking is the single most important thing you can do to improve your health. We know that the majority of the 340,000 smokers in Northern Ireland wish they could stop, but put off doing so waiting for the “right” time. I would encourage all smokers to make No Smoking Day 2012 the date on which they quit smoking for good."

According to a report by the Department of Health there are now over 600 smoking cessation services available across Northern Ireland in a range of settings, including pharmacies, GP surgeries and community centres.

The department claim these services have helped over 100,000 smokers to set a quit date between 2007/08 and 2010/11.

Meanwhile this call comes as the sale of tobacco products have been banned from vending machines across Northern Ireland with plans to ban the display of tobacco in large shops to be introduced later this year. Northern Ireland will also be part of a UK-wide consultation on the introduction of plain packaging for tobacco products.

(LB)

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