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2000 fewer deaths from tobacco related disease since 1998

Written by | 14 Jun 2012 | All Medical News

by Bruce Sylvester – A research paper published in ‘Tobacco Control’ by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) shows that tobacco control policies implemented in Ireland between 1998 and 2010 have contributed to a reduction in smoking prevalence, and also shows close to 2000 fewer ‘Smoking Attributable Deaths’ (SAD’s) over the same period. The researches makes an estimate, based on current policies, of over 50,000 less smoking attributable deaths by 2040.

Professor Luke Clancy, Director of the TobaccoFree Research Institute and one of the authors of the research said today, “In the last decade or so, Ireland has made immense strides in the area of tobacco control.  We have introduced Smokefree Workplaces to the world; we have extended marketing restrictions; improved health warnings; raised taxes and increased the availability of cessation services. It will be important for Government and others to have it established that there are positive outcomes to these measures; despite the ongoing efforts of profit seeking vested interests to continually block health measures, when tobacco sales might be affected”

The research was based on the SimSmoke model, which selects one baseline year – before major policy interventions commence. (1998 in this case) In 1998 we had the first National Survey and Attitudes t Nutrition (SLAN) survey, and this provided us with accurate baseline date, on which to base the research.

Professor Clancy went on to say, “our research shows a relative decrease in male (18 years and over) smoking prevalence from 33.4% to 26.1% of the population over the period under review; a relative decline over the 12 year period on 21.8%. The relative decrease for females was from 31% to 25.1%; a relative decline of 19%. These are positive statistics; however we must not become complacent, as we are dealing with an addictive product from a highly profitable industry that will use every possible means, through marketing and promotion in new and established media, to market a this product which kills and injures thousands of our citizens annually”

The research suggests that increased mass media campaigns and increased cessation services are likely to make the greatest contribution to reduced prevalence in the coming years.

Full article on: tobaccocontrol.bmj.com – “The effect of tobacco control policies on smoking prevalence and smoking-attributable deaths in Ireland using the IrelandSS simulation model” Laura M Currie, Kenneth Blackman, Luke Clancy, David T Levy.

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