Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, TD welcomed that today, Ash Wednesday, is Ireland’s National No Smoking Day (Wednesday 17 February 2021).  

Traditionally many Irish smokers have chosen Ash Wednesday as the first day of their quitting journey.

The Minister said: “Nicotine is a highly addictive drug. It takes courage and commitment to stop smoking and I congratulate every smoker that takes that first step toward a healthier life for themselves and those around them. Smokers do not need to go it alone. The HSE Quit service is there to provide advice and support.”

“Now is the time to act because the evidence shows that smokers are at a higher risk of complications with COVID-19 infection and are more likely to have a more severe outcome from the disease compared with non-smokers.”

“Our goal is to make Ireland a tobacco free society where the disease, disability and death caused by tobacco consumption is a thing of the past.”

“In May this year, An Taoiseach and I, along with heads of state, global health leaders, the scientific community and representatives of civil society will take part in a global Leaders Summit on Tobacco Control. Ireland has a proud record in tobacco control and I look forward to working with our global partners to make further gains toward a tobacco free world.”