Dáil Éireann - Volume 284 - 23 July, 1975

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Deaths from Cigarette Smoking.

25. Mr. Leonard asked the Minister for Health if he has noted the recent statement by the British Minister of State for Health and Social Security that cigarette smoking causes 50,000 premature deaths annually in Britain; and if corresponding figures are available for this country.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health (Mr. R. Barry): I have seen newspaper reports of the statement quoted by the Deputy.

Cigarette smoking is a contributory factor in causing a number of serious conditions, such as lung cancer, bronchitis and heart disease. While figures are available, and are published annually, of the numbers of deaths from these conditions, it is not possible to say how many of these deaths were caused by cigarette smoking.

Mr. Leonard: Is the Parliamentary Secretary satisfied that the anti-smoking campaign has been effective?

Mr. R. Barry: I am satisfied it has [252] had some good effects. That campaign has been intensified since the health education bureau was set up.

Mr. Haughey: Would the Minister not consider that this is another matter which should be handed over entirely to the BBC and let them do the job for us?

An Ceann Comhairle: The remaining questions will appear on tomorrow's Order Paper.