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Ten-year Tobacco Control Strategy for Northern Ireland


Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety Northern Ireland

Subject Keywords: A tobacco-free society
Set: Causes
Chronic Conditions
Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)
Health Inequalities
Type: Strategy
Region: Northern Ireland

Smoking is the single greatest cause of preventable illness and premature death in Northern Ireland, killing around 2,300 people each year. Of these deaths, approximately 800 are as a result of lung cancer, which is now the most common cause of cancer death for both men and women. Further illnesses for which smoking is a major risk factor include coronary heart disease, strokes and other diseases of the circulatory system.

The cost of smoking to our society is high. In economic terms, the hospital cost of treating smoking-related illnesses in Northern Ireland is in the region of £119m each year. Harder to quantify is the human cost relating to the large numbers of people dying or suffering from debilitating illnesses directly caused by smoking. The harm caused by tobacco smoke also extends to non-smokers through exposure to secondhand smoke, with children and unborn babies being particularly vulnerable.

The overall aim of the Strategy is to create a tobacco-free society.

The key objectives, which have been carried forward from the Tobacco Action
Plan 2003-2008, are: -

• fewer people starting to smoke;

• more smokers quitting; and

• protecting people from tobacco smoke

The Strategy is aimed at the entire population of Northern Ireland as s
smoking and its harmful effects cuts across all barriers of class, race and gender. However, a strong relationship exists between smoking and inequalities, with more people dying of smoking- related illnesses in disadvantaged areas of Northern Ireland than in more affluent areas. In order to ensure that more focused action is directed to where it is needed the most, three priority groups have been identified. They are:

• children and young people;

• disadvantaged people who smoke; and

• pregnant women, and their partners, who smoke.



Rights: © Crown Copyright
Suggested citation:

Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety Northern Ireland. (2012) Ten-year Tobacco Control Strategy for Northern Ireland [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 25th May 2018].


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