A new quit smoking support service, launched by the HSE just in time for the many thousands of Irish smokers who are hoping to stub out once and for all this January, could help quitters to double their chances of curbing their deadly habit for good.
The HSE’s new QUIT team of trained advisors are now on hand to offer smokers and quitters advise and support over the phone, by text and by email, as well as on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook and via ‘live chatting’ on a new, interactive website.
Dr Stephanie O’Keefe, the HSE’s national director for health and wellbeing, said the new programme is built on years of experience and the success they have already had in supporting people to make the positive change in their own lives to become tobacco free.
A shocking one in every two smokers will die of a tobacco-related disease, explained Dr O’Keefe.
“Over 5,000 families will lose a loved one this year due to tobacco. The number of smokers in Ireland has dropped once again in 2014, but we want to help even more smokers to quit,” she said.
As well as the new online and phone based support, there is a network of face-to-face HSE QUIT services in many locations around the country, providing one-to-one and group support for smokers.
Speaking at at the launch, Minister for Health Leo Varadkar said quitting smoking is the best thing a person can do to improve his or her health and avoid chronic disease and premature death.
“People trying to give up are not alone and those who use the HSE's QUIT service are twice as likely to succeed as those who try to do it alone,” said Minister Varadkar.
For more information, freephone 1800 201 203; freetext QUIT to 50100 or visit www.quit.ie Find HSE QUIT on Twitter and Facebook.