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31st May 2015

World No Tobacco Day study reveals 1 in 5 of us still smoke

Sophie White

A survey carried out to mark World No Tobacco Day has revealed that the number of smokers across Europe is falling.

Doctor Ciara Kelly told Newstalk:

“There’s real positives in this, in that Ireland’s rate of smoking is falling faster than the rest of Europe.”

She went on to reiterate the dangers of smoking.

“It still is a major concern, it is a carcinogen. It is one of the biggest risk factors for lung cancer, heart disease and a host of other cancers but it is positive that we are seeing a fall off in our numbers here.”

However, 26 per cent of Europeans are still smokers though this is down from figures reported in 2012 which stated 28 per cent of Europeans were smokers.

Countries with the lowest rates are Sweden at 11 per cent and Finland at 19 per cent, while the highest incidence of smokers occur in Greece at 38 per cent and Bulgaria with 35 per cent. We are certainly lower than Greece and Bulgaria but currently Ireland is on 21% which is still one fifth of our population.

European Commission research also shows that over half of all smokers have attempted to quit, with 19 per cent trying to quit in the last year.