Ireland

Republic of Ireland

Ireland became the first country to enact a comprehensive nation-wide smoke-free law in 2004. The ITC project has been able to monitor the effects of that law on reactions and perceptions of smokers, and will continue to report on the effectiveness of new tobacco control policies as they are implemented. The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control was signed and ratified on September 16, 2003, and November 7, 2005, respectively.

Country Profile:

Capital City Dublin
Population (2006 estimate) 4,062,235
Life expectancy (2002 estimate) Males: 75 years, Females: 81 years
Healthy life expectancy (2002 estimate) Males: 68.1 years, Females: 71.5 years
Ethnic groups Celtic, English
GDP per capita (2004) $36, 371
Median age 34 years
Literacy 99%

Smoking Prevalence and Associated Costs:

  • Cigarette smoking is the most common form of tobacco use in Ireland.
  • Smoking prevalence for both sexes have been declining since the 1980s, and stood in 2004 at 24%. This is down from 29% in 1994, which was already brought down from 35% in 1980.
  • In 2000, smoking accounted for 18% of all deaths in Ireland.

Smoking Policies:

  • Ireland is the first country in the world to ban smoking in enclosed workplaces that included bars and restaurants.
  • Ireland has no legislation in place that restricts the sale of tobacco in vending machines and self-service displays.
  • The minimum age for purchasing tobacco in Ireland is 18 years old.

ITC Researchers:

Shawn Allwright (Principal Investigator)
Fenton Howell
Luke Clancy

Ireland policy table

ITC Affiliated Institutions:


Sources: World Health Organization, CIA World Factbook, Ireland Office of Tobacco Control, Tobacco Control. (14): 73 – 74. 2005.

Click here for the ITC Ireland survey questionnaires »

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