The HSE yesterday launched the latest QUIT Smoking campaign, which encourages people who smoke to #QuitandWin – quit smoking for 28 days as this will increase their chances of quitting for good by 5 times.
The campaign features people who smoke, and people who smoke were also consulted and involved in its development.
In the ad, excuses to continue to smoke are contrasted with the harm caused by smoking – the harm to those who smoke themselves, to their families and to their loved ones.
The campaign also highlights people’s many motivations to quit and shows the best steps a person who smokes and their community can take to support them to make a successful quit attempt in 2020.
Martina Blake, National Lead, HSE Tobacco Free Ireland Programme, said, “Smoking is an addiction and quitting can be hard. Most people who smoke want to quit but for many the idea of quitting can seem overwhelming. A key development in this campaign is that we breakdown quitting and present an achievable and powerful first step. If you can quit for 28 days you are 5 times more likely to quit for good.
“Practical support and resources give the best chance of making it to Day 28, and once you reach that you are well on the way to long term success and the benefits of a smoke-free life. Our HSE’s QUIT Team provides free, non-judgemental practical help, designed to fit each person who smokes lifestyle. Our Stop Smoking Advisors are ready to coach anyone who wants to quit.”
Prevalence of daily smoking in Ireland has dropped from 19% in 2015 to 14% in 2019 which means there are now an estimated 165,000 fewer people who smoke than there were five years ago.
Fiona Boyle, Donegal Community Stop Smoking Advisor adds that in 2018 there were 263 new clients to her service and around 30% of them were quit 12 months later which is very good by international standards with the World Health Organisations recommended 1 year quit rates of around 20%.
Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, said, “We have made good progress in reducing the numbers of people who smoke and there is a lot to be positive about but we must not become complacent.
“Our Tobacco policy, Tobacco Free Ireland, sets a target for Ireland to be tobacco free by 2025. In practice, this means a smoking prevalence rate of less than 5% which is an ambitious target. But Ireland’s ambition has made us international leaders in this policy area and, with 6,000 lives at stake each year, ambition is the only option.
“We must also make sure that we do not leave any group of people who smoke behind. Smoking rates are highest in our young adults aged 25-34 and are also much higher in people who are unemployed or living in more deprived areas. I want to encourage anyone who smokes to try to quit for 28 days with the help available from the HSE QUIT Team”.
Dr Paul Kavanagh, Public Health Medicine Specialist, HSE said, “Our new TV ad features views and comments used to sustain the behaviour, but nothing shields people from the devastating impact of smoking. Smoking is incredibly harmful. One in two people who smoke will die from a tobacco related disease and a person who smokes can expect to lose on average about 10 years of life due to smoking. Stopping smoking is the single most important thing you can do for your health, for your future and for your loved ones.
“We consulted people who smoke, and they told us that behind the excuses they use to protect themselves from the damage their smoking is causing, they want to quit and are looking for hope. HSE QUIT can offer hope as we work individually with people to offer the best chances of living a smoke-free life.
“With this campaign, we also start a conversation about the harms of social smoking. People who smoke socially may not be aware their health is at risk. Even people who smoke occasionally can carry nearly the same risk for cardiovascular disease as people who smoke daily. Listening to people who smoke highlighted that understanding amongst people who see themselves as people who only smoke socially really needs to be challenged.”
This new QUIT Smoking campaign encourages people who smoke to make a quit attempt with the right help. There are supports available free of charge from the HSE that will increase their chance of success. It also calls on all of us to support the people who smoke in our lives to quit.
Help is also at hand locally in counties Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan and Monaghan where the HSE provides FREE Stop Smoking clinics in various locations, both in the community and acute hospitals, with trained Stop Smoking Advisors. These specially trained Advisors can help you prepare to deal with the addiction, habit and emotional side of smoking which can make your quitting journey easier and more likely to be successful.
Local Letterkenny Councillor Jimmy Kavanagh who used the service to help him successfully quit found that ‘’seeing my Stop Smoking Advisor, Fiona Boyle in the clinic helped because you knew there was someone rooting for you and you didn’t want to let them down. Having the Carbon Monoxide test carried out each visit also helped to keep you going as you could see the improvements in the results’’. He added ‘’it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be –the hardest part was getting the thinking right. Jimmy further advised ‘’try not to think of it as a sacrifice and that you are giving something up – it’s more about taking something back as it’s the biggest favour you’ll ever do for yourself’’.
Donegal Community Stop Smoking Advisor Fiona Boyle’s advice to anyone planning to quit is “get the FREE support that is available from your local Stop Smoking Advisors or the QUIT Team to help you to prepare properly. This includes deciding on the most suitable medications to use for your level of addiction e.g. Champix, patches, quickmist.”
The HSE QUIT service provides personalised, free support by phone, email, SMS and live chat. People who smoke can free call 1800 201 203 or visit www.QUIT.ie for stop smoking tips and resources, a free QUIT Kit, and to create a QUIT Plan or read other people’s stories. Peer-to-peer support is available on the QUIT Facebook Page www.facebook.com/HSEQUIT or on Twitter at HSE QUIT @HSEQuitTeam #QuitandWin #TheLastStop
For CHO 1 Support
Donegal Community Fiona Boyle 0872514790 firstname.lastname@example.org
Maresa Mc Gettigan 0860492465 email@example.com
Letterkenny University Hospital Elaine Robinson 0749123678 firstname.lastname@example.orgTags: