Updated: 10/04/17 : 12:15:12
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Over 400,000 Irish try to quit the weed every year

Half of people trying to quit smoking do so without any help, making them less likely to successfully kick the habit.

That's according to a HIQA report which has made a number of recommendations to the Minister for Health.

Every year more than 400,000 people in Ireland try to quit smoking.

Of those half try to do it with no help - while almost 30% try e-cigarettes and 18% use nicotine patches.

It's estimated the impacts of smoking costs the health system over €460m a year.

Health watchdog HIQA has today advised the government that these interventions represent good value for money and make people more likely to quit.

Their report concluded that the use of e-cigarettes showed promising results, but there was not enough data to recommend them.

HIQA has recommended a prescription medicine called varenicline as the most effective intervention to tackle smoking.

They found when it is used with nicotine patches it makes people three times more likely to quit.

Counselling and group behaviour therapy was also found to make people more likely to quit - when compared with those going it alone.

Welcoming the assessment, Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy said: “There are over 850,000 smokers in Ireland, and most of them want to quit. The sad reality is that unless they do then one in every two will be killed by a tobacco related disease.

“We have a responsibility to ensure that when we encourage smokers to make that quit attempt, our health services provide them with the best possible chances of success. When a smoker successfully quits, the smoker wins, their family and friends win, their community wins and the health services win.”