Home > National cancer strategy 2006: a strategy for cancer control in Ireland: evaluation panel report.

Warde, Padraig and de Koning, Harry and Richardson, Alison (2015) National cancer strategy 2006: a strategy for cancer control in Ireland: evaluation panel report. Dublin: Department of Health.

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The evaluation panel was very impressed with the excellent progress in the cancer control system in Ireland since the publication of “A Strategy for Cancer Control in Ireland” in 2006.

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In particular the National Cancer Strategy 2006 (rec. 3-5) made 3 specific recommendations aimed at reducing smoking prevalence in Ireland including
- Compliance with all provisions of the Public Health (Tobacco) acts, 2002 and 2004 should be monitored.
- Excise Duty on cigarettes should be substantially increased each year above the rate of inflation.
- Nicotine replacement therapy should be made available free of charge to all medical card holders.
These recommendations have largely been implemented and have been remarkably successful in reducing smoking prevalence. In 2007 approximately 29% of the population smoked and this has dropped to 24% in 2010 and 22% in 2012, which is in accordance with international standards.

As regards alcohol misuse the National Substance Misuse Strategy of 2012 identified a number of concrete measures that have been incorporated into the proposed Public Health (Alcohol) Bill. These include:
• Minimum unit pricing for alcohol products
• The regulation of advertising and marketing of alcohol
• Structural separation of alcohol from other products in mixed trading outlets
• Health labelling of alcohol products
• Regulation of sports sponsorship.

If these alcohol misuse measures are introduced in Ireland, it will become an international leader in the field.

P.48 3. Percentage of the population who consume more than the recommended alcohol weekly limits by age, sex and social class.

“Alcohol consumption in Ireland 2013” published by the Health Research Board indicates from survey results that more than 150,000 people are dependent drinkers, more than a 1.35 million are harmful drinkers according to WHO standards. Thirty per cent of people interviewed say that they experienced some form of harm as a result of their own drinking. The report also reveals that the respondents underestimate what they drink by about 60%.
Furthermore, the rate of abstinence, defined as consuming no alcohol in the previous 12 months, was 20.6%. Almost two-thirds (63.9%) of males and half (51.4%) of females started drinking alcohol before the age of 18 years. 67 % of drinkers and 80% of male drinkers consumed six or more standard drinks on the occasion that they consumed the highest number of standard drinks in the last year.

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