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News / February 17, 2010

National no smoking day supports mouth cancer battle

by Guy Hiscott

Ash Wednesday marks the date of this year’s national no smoking day.

There is a lack of awareness amongst the public of oral cancer and the rise in the incidence of mouth related cancers, especially among young people. Control oral cancer is best achieved through preventative measures, particularly in the areas of tobacco control and alcohol abuse.

The Health Service Executive has launched a website,, to help smokers create their own plan to help them quit.

In addition, the Irish Cancer Society offers a six-week course to motivate and encourage people who wish to quit by helping them establish a framework for success. Participants are invited to attend a one-hour session for six weeks. For further information, call the National Smokers’ Quitline on 1 850 201 203.

Meanwhile, to mark the event, ASH Ireland has relaunched its campaign to ban smoking in cars transporting children.

Dr Angie Brown, Chairperson ASH Ireland, said: ‘We first launched this campaign in early 2008 – and yet we have had no positive indication from government that they plan to implement this health initiative, which is now gaining support all around the world. Passive smoke is a Group 1 cancer-causing carcinogen and as 14% of Irish children are exposed to these carcinogens and other toxic substances in cars, our legislators must protect them. As we discovered with use of seat belts and use of mobile phones in cars, the voluntary code is insufficient’.

It is thought that within five years of giving up cigarettes the risk of smoking related cancers is greatly reduced.

This Ash Wednesday, why not direct your patients to contact the National Smokers’ Quitline from Monday to Saturday 8am-10pm on callsave 1850 201 203?