Facts and figures

  • Smoking is the greatest single cause of preventable illness and premature death in Northern Ireland.
  • Smoking is a major risk factor for cancers, coronary heart disease, strokes and other diseases of the circulatory system.
  • It harms nearly every organ in the body and dramatically reduces both quality of life and life expectancy.
  • Smoking also contributes to infertility, blindness, miscarriage and birth defects.
  • Smokers are more likely to develop depression or anxiety disorder over time than non-smokers.
  • Tobacco smoke contains over 5300 chemicals including nicotine, carbon monoxide, tar, arsenic, ammonia, acetone, DDT, methanol, and benzene.
  • Stopping smoking is the single most important thing that a person can do to improve their health and the health of those around them. Once you stop smoking your health improves immediately.
  • 22% of adults in Northern Ireland smoke (approximately 432,000 people).
  • 8% of 11-16 year olds are current smokers.
  • More than 2,300 people die in Northern Ireland each year from smoking related illnesses (equates to more than 6 people a day, 44 individuals every week).
  • Half of all regular, long-term smokers will be killed by their habit.
  • Each cigarette shortens the lifespan by five minutes, which shortens the smoker’s life by 10-15 years.
  • Smoking 20 cigarettes a day costs a person approximately £3102.50 per year based on a £8.50 pack.
  • 70% of smokers want to give it up but find it extremely difficult because of their addiction to tobacco.

Page last updated:27 January 2016