A Donegal GAA club is standing up to support Smoke Free World Heart Day.
CLG Na Dunaibh will launch their Smoke Free Policy in partnership with Donegal HSE Health Promotion and Improvement Department this Sunday the 3rd October 2021 which will also be in support of World Heart Day on 29th September.
The Smoke Free Policy means that smoking tobacco products and vaping (use of e-cigarettes) is not permitted anywhere on the grounds.
This means that from this Sunday there will be no smoking, including electronic devices, anywhere in CLG Na nDunaibh grounds.
Finghin McClafferty, CLG Na nDunaibh Health and Wellbeing Officer said “It is vitally important that as role models for our young people, that we in the GAA lead the way. As a club we have a responsibility to protect all our members, young and old and also the wider community.
“We want to set a positive example for all our members, especially our younger members and de-normalise any association between the GAA and tobacco usage. We want to protect our members, visitors and volunteers from the dangers of tobacco and second hand smoke exposure and reduce the initiation of smoking amongst young people in particular.
“The Smoke Free Policy is one of a range of initiatives we are implementing as part of the National Healthy Club’s Project, transforming the GAA into Health and Wellbeing Hubs for all. I would like to thank all of the Club Committee and members for embracing and driving this positive change.’
Fiona Boyle, is the local HSE Stop Smoking Specialist and Tobacco Lead in CHO 1, who is supporting this initiative.
She said “It is inspiring to see Healthy Clubs leading the way and supporting the government’s ambitious target of making Ireland tobacco-free by 2025 and also supporting Healthy Ireland. The National Healthy Club Project is a great example of one of our key sporting organisations working in partnership with the health sector to help people achieve positive health behaviour changes”.
Fiona also commented “The GAA is the heart beat of every community in Ireland and it’s great to see them supporting World Heart Day this year. Around 10,000 people die in Ireland from cardiovascular disease each year and represent over a third (36%) of all deaths. Such deaths can be avoided – almost all heart disease (80%) can be prevented by making lifestyle changes and reducing the risk factors of which smoking tobacco products is one of them’’.
Fiona concluded by saying ‘this type of initiative will not only raise awareness but also protect people from second-hand smoke, reduce smoking initiation rates among young people and increase the amount of people seeking help to quit which will all go to reduce the incidence of Heart Disease in Ireland.”
Eoin Byrne chairperson of CLG Na nDunaibh was delighted to support this policy stating that research shows that young people can easily develop an addiction to smoking by mimicking adult behaviour.
“Denormalising smoking is key for young people not to start smoking in the first place,” he added.
The Government has set a target for Ireland to be Tobacco Free by 2025 which means less than 5 per cent of the population will use tobacco and GAA Clubs are becoming leaders in achieving this goal by setting a positive example for all their members.
For anyone interested in quitting tobacco you can contact Fiona Boyle on 0872514790 or Maresa Mc Gettigan on 0860492465 to receive information on any of the 13 free face-to-face clinics throughout Donegal including one in Carrigart Health Centre.
You can also contact QUIT.ie or freephone 1800 201 203 for free support. You have a greater chance of quitting when you get support and use treatments to help you quit.
If you are involved in another GAA Club in Donegal and are interested in Smoke Free Grounds then why not give Fiona or Maresa a call and they will support you with introducing this positive club initiative.