Foyle MP Mark Durkan is calling for more action and support to help smokers in Derry quit for good.
A new report by research agency IMS Consulting has found that attempts to quit smoking and motivation to quit are in decline.
However, the British Government has set a target for reducing the prevalence of smoking which requires 210,000 people to quit every year until 2015.
This means nearly 400 people quitting smoking successfully every year in each parliamentary constituency – not least here in Derry.
The report was launched at an event in the House of Commons hosted by QUIT, the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and Pfizer.
Mr Durkan said: “Smoking continues to be a major public health issue in Derry. One in three people here smoke and far too many die every year from smoking-related illnesses.
“We know that a large number of smokers want to quit but they find it difficult.
“We therefore need to ensure that there are effective support services in place for every smoker who wants to quit first time round.”
Eileen Streets, Director of Tobacco Control at the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, added: “If we want to reduce the death toll from smoking we need to do two things: stop people from starting, and help them to stop.
“Different people need different kinds of support, so it’s essential that health and social care trusts put in place comprehensive smoking cessation services, offering the full range of tools and treatments to help people quit for good.”
Glyn McIntosh, Chief Executive, of QUIT, added: “Quitting smoking is the single most important thing a smoker can do for their health.
“Using willpower alone only has a 3% success rate; smokers who use the right treatment to help them stop increase their chances of quitting by four times.
“Helping people quit smoking saves money by reducing the burden of smoking-related diseases on the health services and crucially, saves lives.”