Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy Minister, Frank Feighan, this week praised the success of Limerick’s ‘Not Around Us’ tobacco-free campaign.
‘Not Around Us’ was launched in 2019 and aims to denormalise smoking, protect children from second-hand smoke, reduce environmental damage caused by tobacco and highlight HSE Quit services.
Local actions can contribute to a tobacco-free Ireland, according to Deputy Feighan, who represents the Sligo-Leitrim constituency.
“Community-based projects also play an important role in supporting people to quit smoking and are to be commended for their contribution to the continued decrease in smoking rates,” added the Deputy said.
Minister Feighan and Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly, also welcomed the publication of the 2019 Tobacco Free Ireland Annual Report.
The Tobacco-Free Ireland Programme embodies government strategy on tobacco control.
The 2019 Annual Report discusses:
- Progress made in the drafting of a Public Health (Tobacco and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill
- The inclusion of a question on smoking status in Census 2021
- The decision made by Sports Ireland to move to a Smoke Free Campus
Tobacco Free Ireland aims to achieve a smoking prevalence rate of less than five percent in Ireland by 2025, according to Minister Donnelly.
Minister Donnelly said: “We are making great progress towards that target, but I ask anyone that is thinking about quitting to act now.
There is evidence that smokers are at a higher risk of complications with COVID-19 infection and are more likely to have a more severe outcome from the disease compared with non-smokers so there has never been a better time to take that first step to a smoke-free life.”
Minister Feighan added: “One of the best things we can do for the health of our children is to let them grow up in a smoke-free world.
“I am determined to do what I can to ensure that our children don’t start smoking and can live their lives free of this addictive and lethal product.”
University of Limerick (UL) has also recognised the health benefits of being tobacco-free.
In 2018, UL took the decision to become a smoke and vape-free campus.
This means that smoking or vaping on any location owned or operated by UL is prohibited and includes student accommodation.
“The University of Limerick aims to create a healthier, smoke and vape free, environment for its employees, students, contractors and visitors,” states the Smoke and Vape Free Campus Policy.