Skip Page Header

Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answers 439 - Tobacco control measures [39424/17].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answers 439 - Tobacco control measures [39424/17]. (20 Sep 2017)

439. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health the latest statistics on the number of persons smoking; if he is satisfied with the reduction; the extra effort that will be made to make the State smoke free; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39424/17]


Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne):  The 2016 Healthy Ireland survey indicates that 23% of the population aged 15 years and older are current smokers i.e. 19% smoke daily and 4% smoke occasionally. This compares with 2007 SLÁN data which indicated that 29% of Irish adults were smokers. Data from the 2017 Health Ireland Survey will be published in the near future.


In relation to children, rates of smoking are relatively low across all age groups in Ireland when compared to other European and North American countries. The 2014 Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children survey indicates that 8% of children aged from 10 to 17 years currently smoke. In 2006 this percentage was 15%.


The reduction in smoking prevalence is welcome, particularly in relation to the significant reduction in the numbers of children who are smoking. These reductions are a result of the cumulative effect of tobacco control legislation, education and public health initiatives taken over the years. These initiatives have ranked Ireland 2nd out of 34 European Countries on the Tobacco Control Scale and earned my Department the 2017 World No Tobacco Day WHO Award for accomplishments in the area of tobacco control. However, smoking prevalence among adults continues to be a cause of concern. I, together with Minister Harris and my Government colleagues, remain committed to the continued implementation of the Tobacco Free Ireland policy. That policy sets an ambitious target for a smoke free Ireland, with over 60 recommendations which the Government is committed to implementing. Many of these recommendations are completed or are currently under way. Examples include the enactment of legislation to prohibit smoking in cars where children are present, the introduction of standardised packaging for tobacco products, transposition and implementation of the EU 2014 Tobacco Products Directive, the development of legislation to introduce licensing for the sale of tobacco products and e-cigarettes, the development of national smoking cessation guidelines, on-going media campaigns, on-going excise increases on tobacco products, enforcement on the ground of existing and new tobacco control legislation, as well as continued collaboration at EU and WHO levels in the implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.  


I am confident that the on-going implementation of the Tobacco Free Ireland policy will continue to have a positive impact on the smoking prevalence in Ireland.

Item Type
Dail Debates
Publication Type
Drug Type
Tobacco / Nicotine
Intervention Type
20 September 2017
Related URLs

Repository Staff Only: item control page