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Minister Catherine Byrne launched the third annual Healthy Ireland survey of almost 7,500 people over the age of 15 and living in Ireland


The survey gives an up-to-date picture of the health of the nation and reports on many lifestyle behaviours such as smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, diet and mental health.

Vape Business Ireland, Ireland’s largest vaping trade association, welcome the findings which show an increase in those using vaping as a method to successfully quit smoking.  In 2016, 32% of Irish people successfully used vaping products to quit smoking, increasing to 37% in this year’s survey.  Director of VBI Michael Kenneally commented, “Year on year the Department of Health’s survey shows an increase in the use of vaping amongst those looking for an alternative to smoking.  It is evident that these products, which are 95% less harmful than smoking, can be as effective as other tobacco-free alternatives on the market.”

The survey also finds that the proportion of the population that smoke has decreased from 23% in 2016 to 22% in 2017 and there is an increase in users of vaping products from 3% in 2016 to 4% in 2017.  Michael continued “For the third year in a row, the survey finds that 99% of users of vaping products are ex-smokers which banishes the myth that these consumer electronic products are a gateway to smoking.  Consumers have the right to be informed of all their options. Therefore we are again calling on the Department of Health and HSE to provide adults looking for an alternative to smoking with factual and clear information on all alternatives to smoking, specifically on Quit.ie”. 

Link to Healthy Ireland 2017 here.

Summary of findings:

  • 47% of all who have smoked in the past 12 months have made an attempt to quit
  • 42% of current smokers have made an attempt in the past 12 months
  • 13% are currently trying to quit, and 57% are at least thinking about quitting
  • Of those who have quit smoking in the past 12 months, 37% used e-cigarettes
  • 16% overall have tried e-cigarettes at some point, and 4% currently use them
  • 18% of those who have tried to quit smoking in the past year are current users of e-cigarettes
  • Almost half (47%) of all current smokers have tried e-cigarettes at some point, compared with 16% of ex-smokers
  • Less than 1% of non-smokers use e-cigarettes and vaping products
  • Proportion of population that smoke has gone from 23% in 2016 to 22%