A solution, that costs the tax payer nothing, to help smokers in their quitting journey is to provide information on all the resources and tools available to them. While the HSE’s Quit.ie website has useful information on support groups, NRTs, and prescription treatments, it is lacking comprehensive information on vaping and its role as a viable alternative to smoking. According to the Healthy Ireland Survey 41% of Irish smokers who successfully quit last year used vaping to do so – up from 37% in 2017. There is a growing demand for information on vaping products and this information should be made available on Quit.ie.
The statistics provided by the Irish Heart Foundation paint a striking picture of the current situation for Irish smokers. It has been 15 years since the smoking ban was introduced in Ireland. As a country we have made considerable progress in tackling smoking prevalence but recent reports from the HSE show that that progress is beginning to lag. According to the HSE, assuming current trend continues, and all other factors remain constant, Ireland can only expect to be tobacco free by 2052 and not 2025 as originally planned – a delay of 27 years.
Director of VBI Keith Flynn said: “While Quit.ie provides plenty of information on NRTs it is lacking comprehensive information on vaping. Vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking and should be seen as one of the suite of options advised by the HSE for smokers who find it hard to quit. Vaping has a role to play helping to reduce smoking prevalence in Ireland and bringing the country closer to achieving its Tobacco Free objectives.”