With close to close to 6,000 people dying from the effects of smoking in Ireland each year, ASH Ireland encourages all smokers to try quitting smoking this Lent.

Ash Wednesday has traditionally been a day when people try to quit smoking and if it has passed you by without having taking that decision, today is still a great time to start.

It is well established that over 70% of smokers wish to quit and are often seeking opportunities to make the decision and proceed. Lent is an ideal opportunity.

Dr Patrick Doorley, chairman of ASH Ireland said quitting will have an immediate positive impact on the smoker’s health and this will increase in the weeks and months ahead.

“There is also the economic impact of quitting; a 20-a-day smoker will spend over €4,000 per annum on cigarettes and this can be put to so many other positive uses, such as holidays and day to day spending”

Dr Doorley encourages smokers to contact the National Smokers Quitline on Freephone 1800 201 203, where assistance is available.

Smokers can also use the various Nicotine Replacement Therapies, which are available in chemists, as an aid to quitting.

“We encourage any method that will assist smokers to quit and break the habit.

Smokers should also be aware that most smokers who quit will have made a number of attempts before being successful,” he said.