Today is National No Smoking Day.
The campaign has been running since Ash Wednesday in 1983.
1 in 4 people still smoke but 70% of smokers want to quit.
Daragh Connolly from Dungarvan & President of the Irish Pharmacy Union has this advice:
"Well, the first thing we'd say as pharmacists; we know that it's a very difficult thing to do to stop smoking.
Nicotine is very, very addictive but the good news is you have a very, very good chance of stopping smoking and enjoying the health benefits of stopping smoking if you talk to your pharmacist and see a way through the addiction that is being addicted to cigarettes and to enjoy the health benefits that come from it."
Daragh has seen more people stub the habit.
"We have seen a big decrease in the number of people smoking.
It would have gone down from half of people would have smoked 30 or 40 years ago to about 1/3 of people and now it seems to be stubbornly stuck at about 1 in 4 people smoking.
What's very disheartening for us as health care professionals is there is a hard cohort of particularly of young women and unfortunately even teenage girls who are starting smoking and continuing to smoke"
The Irish Pharmacy Union has these facts about smoking:
One in every two smokers will die of a tobacco-related disease. Death due to smoking is preventable and anyone who decides to give up smoking will see immediate benefits.
· Within 20 minutes after quitting, a person’s heart rate and blood pressure drops.
· Within 24-48 hours, all the carbon monoxide will be eliminated.
· After 72 hours, breathing will improve and energy levels will increase.
· One year after quitting, the excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker’s.
· After five years, the risk of heart attack falls to that of a non-smoker
· Finances improve – the average smoker, smoking 20 cigarettes per day, can save €4,000 per year by quitting.