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Smoking ban "making addicts quit"

There has been a massive rise in the number of people seeking help to quit smoking in Northern Ireland since the smoking ban was introduced in April, it has emerged.

Statistics show that this year, 13,795 people have set themselves a date to quit under a scheme run by the Department of Health - which is an increase of 5,093 on last year.

Of those setting a date to give up, 29% are in the 45-59 age bracket, 28% are aged between 18 and 34, 23% between 35 and 44 and 17% are 60 or over.

The percentage of smokers under the age of 18 who have set a date is 2%.

The Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland, Dr Michael McBride, praised cessation services for the work they have done in helping smokers to give up.

"Smoking is thought to be the single greatest cause of preventable illness and premature death in Northern Ireland," he said.

"Whether young or old you will have less chance of getting cancer, having a heart attack or suffering from lung disease. Stopping smoking is not easy but there is lots of good advice and help on how to quit."

Department of Health for Northern Ireland

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