Ireland - smoking on the increase with young women in lower-income groups..

June 2, 2010 - Ireland is in danger of slipping back to pre-smoking ban levels because of the Government’s failure to implement a comprehensive anti-smoking strategy, warns the Irish Heart Foundation (IHF).
The Republic of Ireland became the first country in the world to institute an outright ban on smoking in workplaces on 29 March 2004. (Ireland, Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights)

"The number of smokers in Ireland is frightening at 29% and each one faces a double risk of stroke and a triple risk of heart attack," said IHF chief executive Michael O’Shea. "Where once we led the way on this serious health issue, we are now in danger of reverting to pre-smoking ban levels in our population because of the Government’s failure to implement an anti-smoking strategy," he declared yesterday – World No Tobacco Day.

Ireland has a major problem with cigarette smuggling (illicit, illegal, contraband). Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said he did not increase excise on cigarettes in the December 2009 budget fearing the already high price - around 8.45 euro for a pack of 20 - could contribute further to the smuggling problem. (Ireland - no increase in excise duty on tobacco products worry about smuggling..) Ireland - modest penalty for cigarette smuggling..

We all await the World Health Organization's (WHO) solution to the problem of tobacco product smuggling faced by countries throughout the world..

The IHF is particularly worried about the 56% of young women smokers aged between 18 and 29 in the lower-income groups.

While there was a decline in smoking prevalence after the Smoke Free at Work legislation in March 2004, the decline has reversed, especially among young people. TheSurvey of lifestyle, attitudes and nutrition (SLAN) in Ireland survey 2007 published last October 2009, showed the rate of smoking here decreased from 33% in 1998 to 27% in 2002 and then began to rise in 2007 to 29%.

Mr O’Shea said the good news was that seven out of 10 smokers wanted to stop.

The IHF wants the Government to help smokers to quit using significant increases in tobacco tax,anti-smuggling measures and smoking cessation programmes.

On 1 July 2009, Ireland banned in-store tobacco advertising and displays of tobacco products at retail outlets and new controls on tobacco vending machines (limiting them to being token-operated in registered bars and clubs only) were also introduced. At the same time a ban on the sale of packets of 10 cigarettes was introduced. Tobacco advertising had already been banned from radio, television and on billboards beforehand. (Ireland - people responding well to the ban on cigarette displays..)

The incidence of smokers among the unemployed, at 49%, is nearly double that of the general population. In the workforce, craft and trade workers showed the highest incidence of smoking, with 45% of female and 39% of male workers smoking.
It also revealed that the lowest levels of smoking were reported by professional workers, with 20% of men and 18% of women smoking. (Almost half of unemployed people smoke, 4/15/2009.)

On 18 July 2008, Irish Fine Gael MEP Avril Doyle proposed in a committee in the European Parliament, that she would like to see an EU-wide (European Union) ban on cigarettes and cigars by 2025.

Reference: Ireland risks slipping back to pre-smoking ban levels by Evelyn Ring, Irish Examiner, 6/1/2010.

Some Ireland related news briefs:
Ireland - Illicit tobacco trade booms..;
Ireland - no increase in excise duty on tobacco products worry about smuggling..;
reland - ASH will never give up - get smoking out of cars (and homes) when kids are present..;
Ireland - harder to quit when switching to low tar cigarettes..;
Ireland - after 2004 smoking ban decline in maternal smoking rates as well as lower risk for preterm births..;
Ireland - cancer society urges government to increase cigarette tax..;
Ireland - increase fine for cigarettes imported illegally..;
Ireland - roll your own cigarettes making a comeback..;
Ireland - lots of smokers - lots of sickness - resulting in premature death - THIS HAS TO STOP..;
Ireland - people responding well to the ban on cigarette displays..;
Ireland - Prof Clancy not enough spent on prevention..;
Ireland - tobacco vendors must register by October 1, 2009..;
Children - exposed to cigarette smoke in cars have greater chance of respiratory distress..;
Ireland - tobacco companies not helping small retailers - display ban..;
Tobacco control initiatives starting Wednesday, July 1, 2009..;
Ireland - Office of Tobacco Control 2008 annual report - Positive..;
Ireland - modest penalty for cigarette smuggling..;
Ireland - to amend tobacco legislation to to include pictoral warnings..;
Ireland - as of July 1, 2009 no advertising or display of tobacco products will be permitted in retail outlets..;
Ireland - cigarette tax abandoned over smuggling fears..;
Ireland - may raise tax on cigarettes as part of emergency budget..;
Ireland - ban smoking in cars when kids are present..;
Ireland - further provisions of the Public Health (Tobacco) Acts 2002 and 2004 are to be commenced on 1 July 2009.;
Ireland - 80% of smokers want a ban on tobacco advertising in shops to stop youngsters starting the habit..;
Ireland to ban tobacco displays..;
Ireland - reduction in admissions for acute coronary syndrome...