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Northern Ireland manifesto: quit it

Smoking is the single largest cause of preventable ill health in Northern Ireland, contributing half of the difference in life expectancy between the richest and poorest groups in society and is directly or indirectly linked to thousands of deaths in Northern Ireland annually.

Asthma + Lung UK Northern Ireland support the Department of Health’s goal of a smoke free Northern Ireland. Whilst considerable progress has been made to reduce the number of adults who use tobacco products the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a concerning rise in new smokers aged between 18 and 34. This increase threatens to slow down the reduction of tobacco-linked disease prevalence over the next 25 years unless targeted action is taken to help these new smokers quit soon.

E-cigarettes are thought to be significantly less harmful to health than smoking tobacco, and are an effective smoking cessation tool, so it is essential that people who smoke, as well as health care professionals, have access to evidence-based information about e-cigarettes and how they can be used as a quitting tool.

We continue to look at the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes and would recommend that people use them for as short a time as possible to help them give up smoking. However, regulations on how e-cigarettes can be advertised need to be fully enforced, particularly ensuring products cannot appeal to young people

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