Over 3,700 Fewer Deaths Since Smoking Ban

The smoking ban in Ireland has led to 3,726 less tobacco-related deaths than if the legislation had not been introduced, according to An Roinn Sláinte, the Department of Health.

The figures have been released to mark the tenth anniversary of the introduction of the workplace smoking ban in Ireland.

"The workplace smoking ban in 2004 was a ground breaking initiative, and it has had a huge impact," Health Minister James Reilly said. "Recent research found 3,726 fewer smoking related deaths than would have been expected if the smoking ban had not been brought in. This is indisputable evidence that the ban is saving lives, and improving our overall health as a nation."

In 2013, the National Tobacco Control Office reported that 21.5% of Irish adults smoked, indicating a fall of 2.2% since 2010 and a decline of 7.5% since 2007, when the last large scale study on smoking prevalence in Ireland was undertaken.

Recent research published by the department said the smoking ban was responsible for an immediate 13% decrease in all-cause mortality, a 26% reduction in ischaemic heart disease, a 32% reduction in stroke and a 38% reduction in COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

Research in Ireland by the National Tobacco Control Office shows that compliance with the legislation is 97%.

The Minister continued: "Ireland has a strong track record in the area of tobacco control policy, and we are actively engaged in building on past successes.

"I was very pleased that we received approval from Government last November to proceed with the drafting of a Bill that will introduce standardised packaging for tobacco products similar to what is in place in Australia. We are also working towards introducing legislation to prohibit smoking in cars where children are present."


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