New research from Aviva Health Insurance reveals that a fifth of Mayo people who filled out the Aviva online health check are smokers, with a higher proportion of females (21 per cent ) than males (19 per cent ) smoking. The research also revealed that Mayo smokers consume an average of 11 cigarettes every day, costing the smoker approximately €132 each month and €1,584 per year, despite the continuing bite of the recession.
Overall, County Longford has the highest number of smokers in the country, with 30 per cent of respondents reporting to smoke, while County Monaghan reported the lowest number of smokers for the second year in a row with only 16 per cent.
Women in Ireland are smoking double the amount of cigarettes compared to men, an average of 12 more than men – highlighting that the trend of women smoking more than men remains the same. These findings are even more shocking as the figures show that instances of cancer are also rising in Ireland, with the risk of developing lung cancer set to increase by 59 per cent for men and 136 per cent for woman by 2020 according to the National Cancer Registry.
Some of the most shocking statistics show that smokers lose an average of 10 to 15 years from their life expectancy and that even if you are in the same room as a smoker you are exposing yourself to at least 50 agents known to cause cancer.
Aviva recently launched the Get Fit Action Plan with celebrity Baz Ashmawy, who kicked his smoking habit as part of the plan. Previously a heavy smoker of up to 25 per day, he is reaping the benefits of quitting. “It’s a massive achievement for me to be off cigarettes – I’ve smoked since I was 13, but I always thought that I would have quit by the time I was 25 — I’m 35 now so it’s about time. The Aviva Get Fit Action Plan is a great excuse to do it; it has always been my main concern in terms of health. I would recommend that others who are thinking of quitting just keep trying, you can get there. I’m the last person that my friends would have thought would ever give up smoking, and I did it.”