Cost trumps health concerns as motivation for quitting smoking

by Rachel Cunningham
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Rachel Cunningham

New research launched on World Cancer Day has revealed that Irish smokers would rather quit than cough up for the high price of cigarettes.

At 56 per cent, cost was mentioned as a greater motivator to quit smoking than future health problems, which was listed by 48 per cent of those responding to the study.

According to Lloyds pharmacy, which conducted the study, smoking is the leading cause of avoidable deaths in Ireland among those seeking to give up, with an apparent 6,000 people dying each year from the effects of the habit.

The study reported that 25 per cent of Irish adults currently smoke, with the highest incidence among those aged 35-44, at 34 per cent.

Over 70 per cent of Irish smokers had previously unsuccessfully given up cigarettes, citing cravings, at 63 per cent, and stress, at 61 per cent, as the main obstacles to this goal. The current government target is for Ireland to be tobacco-free by 2025.

Almost seven in 10 respondents claimed that they had been smoking for 10 years or more, with women more likely to have done so than men. More than half of those surveyed, 53 per cent, claimed to have first begun smoking under the legal age limit of 18 years old.

Commenting on these figures, Denis O’Driscoll, the superintendent pharmacist for Lloyds pharmacy, said: “Over the past year, we have seen an increase in those partaking in our quit smoking services with a particular increase in customers seeking NRT products, such as lozenges, gum and sprays. Our trained pharmacy teams nationwide are available to speak with anyone thinking about giving up whether they’ve smoked for one year or 10.

“We will work to find the best approach for each person and understand that giving up smoking is a process. Knowing where you are in that process can help you decide what to do next to stop smoking.

“Our Lloyds pharmacy stores feature confidential care rooms where a trained pharmacist can speak with customers on the benefits of NRT and the options available to them. Now, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, pharmacists can play a pivotal role in educating people on their health and offer sound advice and quick service.”

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