Vapouround magazine ISSUE 21 - Page 25

“We are very conscious in terms of the costs facing people who are thinking about making a quit attempt… We currently know that about three percent in the population are using e-cigarettes and I think it’s very important that we are open and honest with what we know.” — Dr Paul Kavanagh of the Royal College of Surgeons Twenty years ago, one third of Irish adults were smokers. That figure has fallen to one-fifth, with the country being a leader in implementing a widespread smoking ban in 2006 followed by tobacco product warnings coupled with year-on- year rises in the cost of a pack of cigarettes. Despite these measures, plus an uptick in vaping in recent years and the emergence of a health conscious boxercising and crossfitting generation, one expert has warned that Irish millennials in particular are smoking too much. Dr Paul ­Kavanagh of the Royal College of Surgeons is an adviser to the Health Service Executive’s Quit programme. Speaking on national radio, he said more than one-in-five people aged 15 or over in Ireland smokes. The expert told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme this figure increases to one-in-three of 25 to 34-year-olds. He welcomed the reduction in adult smoking rates over the past two decades but said there is a long way to go. “There’s about half a million quit attempts in Ireland each year, and unfortunately one-in-two people go it alone, they go cold turkey.” One factor in the ‘going it alone’ mentality, Dr Kavanagh said, could be the cost of nicotine replacement therapy in the Republic of Ireland, where it is more expensive to purchase the stop smoking aid than across the border in Northern Ireland. However, he said that someone who is smoking a pack of cigarettes a day is spending around €2,000 - €4,000 a year on the bad habit, so the investment upfront in an alternative to smoking increases their likelihood of becoming smoke- free and saving money and lives long-term. Dr Kavanagh added: “We are very conscious in terms of the costs facing people who are thinking about making a quit attempt.” On e-cigarettes as a means to quit smoking for good, the doctor said: “We currently know that about three percent in the population are using e-cigarettes and I think it’s very important that we are open and honest with what we know and do not know when it comes to e-cigarettes. Vaping does deliver nicotine but what’s different to smoking is that people don’t burn tobacco, so the risk profile associated with vaping is different and that has been in a number of large reports. But reports show that we don’t yet know the long-term implications of vaping.” Meanwhile figures from Euromonitor International published last summer show Irish vapers are the third biggest spenders on devices and e-liquids. The nation’s spend on vape products shot up by over 30 percent from €10.70 in 2015 to €14.40 per capita in 2017. VM21 | 25