The ESPAD Ireland Report 2019, based on a survey of 1967 students born in 2003, who were 15-16 years old when the survey was carried out in a sample of Irish schools in 2019, was launched in November 2020 by TFRI and Department of Health.
It features information on students’ experience of, and perceptions about, a variety of substances, including: tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs, inhalants, pharmaceuticals and new psychoactive substances (NPS). Social media use, gaming and gambling are also covered.
The European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (ENSP) will hold its 5th European Conference on Tobacco Control (ENSP-ECTC) online. Presentations are now available virtually. Click here to visit the conference webpage.
The Leadership Summit on Tobacco or Health is to take place 6-7 May 2021 with Mike Bloomberg to deliver the keynote address at the inaugural Session and Stephen Donnelly Minister for Health, Ireland to address the Summit Opening Plenary For further information see https://wctoh.org 18TH WORLD CONFERENCE ON TOBACCO OR HEALTHDublin March 9-11th 2021. Re-scheduled - see more WCTOH events below in News section.
On 16th November, the Minister of State with Responsibility for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan TD, launched ESPAD Ireland 2019. Read the Minister's Press Release here.
On the same day, TFRI launched ESPAD Ireland 2019 with the press release below: ESPAD Ireland 2019 (European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs) Main Findings · The decline in smoking has halted in Irish teens for the first time in 25 years (14%), and has significantly increased to 16% in boys while declining slightly to 13.6 in girls Dramatic increase in e-cigarette use, especially among boys 39% have tried AND 16% are current users · Slight increase in drinking and heavy episodic ‘binge’ drinking · Almost 1 in 5 has tried cannabis and 1 in 10 is a current user · More than a third spend more than 6 hours on non-school days on social media · Boys (23%) more likely than girls (7%) to have gambled Smoking Smoking remains a notable issue for adolescents. 32% of respondents had tried smoking and 14% were current smokers, with 5% smoking daily. The majority (63%) of students reported starting to smoke at age 14 or 15. Equally, the majority (61%) reported that it was easy to access cigarettes. Our trend analyses showed that, despite a reduction of over two thirds since 1995, more students reported smoking in 2019 than in 2015, and this was pronounced for boys. E-Cigarettes Almost four in 10 students (39%) had tried e-cigarettes and almost one in 6 (16%) were current users, making both ever-use and current use of e-cigarettes higher than use of combustible cigarettes. Boys (46%) were more likely than girls (33%) to have tried e-cigarettes and also to be current users (22% vs 12%). Only 3% said that it was “to stop smoking cigarettes”. More than two-thirds of respondents (68%) had never smoked cigarettes, and only 9% smoked regularly when first using e-cigarette Professor Luke Clancy, Director General of the TFRI said “this increase in smoking, which had been declining for 25 years, is major concern and a serious threatto Tobacco Free Ireland 2025“We are currently examining the reasons for this increase”, he said, “including the role of e-cigarettes”. Alcohol Some 73% of respondents had tried alcohol and 41% were current users (previous 30 days), while 16% reported having been drunk in the previous 30 days. As in previous surveys, age 15 years (52%) was the most common age at which students first drank alcohol, followed by age 14 (28%). Since 1995, when Ireland first participated in ESPAD, there has been a significant reduction in alcohol consumption among students aged 15-16 years. However, our trend analyses in this wave indicate that, since 2015, there has been a slight increase in current alcohol use and also in heavy episodic drinking. Cannabis Cannabis was the most-used illicit drug with almost one student in 5 (19%) having tried cannabis and almost one in 10 (9%) having used it in the previous 30 days. Boys were more likely than girls to be users, and girls were more likely to perceive risk in regular or occasional cannabis use. More boys (22%) than girls (13%) had also tried unsuccessfully to stop using cannabis. Access to cannabis was reported as fairly or very easy by 42% of students. Other substances (inhalants, cocaine, ecstasy) Our trend analyses showed that, between 2015 and 2019, there were no changes in the use of cannabis, inhalants and tranquilizers. However, we observed a decrease in the use of illicit drugs other than cannabis. GamblingBoys much more likely to have gambled – betting on sports or animals was the most common gambling activity. The majority (84%) of respondents had not gambled in the previous 12 months. Gambling is a particularly gendered activity. More boys (23%) than girls (7%) reported that they had gambled in the previous 12 months. The Lie/Bet questionnaire, a two-question screening tool was used to evaluate problem gambling behaviour. Of those who had gambled in the previous 12 months (n=300), 26% reported that they had felt the need to bet more and more money, and 12% reported that they had to lie to people important to them about how much they gambled. Internet and gaming activitiesAmong 15-16 year olds, more than a third spend more than 6 hours on social media on non-school days. More than a third of respondents (37%) spent 2-3 hours on social media on a typical school day, and even more (39%) spent more than 6 hours on social media on a typical non-school day. Significant gender differences were observed for non-school day internet use with girls (98%) spending more hours on social media than boys (96%) did. Problem internet use was assessed with three item statements and a majority of students either strongly agreed (26%) or partly agreed (37%) that they spend too much time on social media. Regarding gaming, during the previous 30 days. 44% spent some time playing games on a school day and 56% spent some time playing games on a typical non-school day. More boys (84%) than girls (29%) spent time playing games on a typical non-school day Dr Joan Hanafin, Director of Social Research, TFRI said, “Taken together, these findings provide strong evidence of the greater risk-taking among adolescent boys that has been identified in 30 years of research on men and masculinities. It is important that health education programmes take account of gender differences in substance use and of boys’ gambling patterns.” Trends visible in Irish data In the past 25 years, ESPAD surveys of 15-16-year olds in Ireland have reported major reductions in alcohol consumption, smoking and the use of many substances. The largest reductions have been in the use of illicit drugs which, fell by 69% and in cigarette smoking which fell by 66%. In the same period there has been a 41% decrease in alcohol consumption and a 30% reduction in heavy episodic [‘binge’] drinking. Across Europe, smoking and drinking among 15–16-year-old school students are showing signs of decline. The Irish study, carried out for the Department of Health, in collaboration with ESPAD Europe and the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA), is based on a 2019 survey of 1967 students born in 2003. This is the seventh data-collection wave conducted by the ESPAD project since 1995, with data collected every 4 years in more than 35 countries. The full and summary reports are available to download at www.tri.ie Notes: Full Report Details: Salome Sunday, Sheila Keogan, Joan Hanafin, Luke Clancy (2020). ESPAD 2019 Ireland: Results from the European Schools Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs in Ireland. Dublin: TFRI. ISBN: 978-0-9557528-4-1 Available at www.tri.ie Summary Report Details: Salome Sunday, Sheila Keogan, Joan Hanafin, Luke Clancy (2020). ESPAD 2019 Ireland: Summary Results from the European Schools Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs in Ireland. Dublin: TFRI. ISBN: 978-0-9557528-5-8Available at www.tri.ie Contact:email@example.comMobile -Prof Luke Clancy ; 0868363337
Milestones and Challenges of Medical Research On 26th September 2020, Prof Luke Clancy, Director General, TFRI gave a presentation entitled Role of Research in Changing Dublin Smog Forever to FIRMST SS#02 Milestones and Challenges on Medical Research - Panel Discussion
This webinar reviewed the literature on the relationship between smoking and COVID-19 available to date; examined the biological mechanisms and risk factors influencing susceptibility to infection; and discussed opportunities afforded by the pandemic to progress tobacco control and reduce tobacco related deaths.
Prof Luke Clancy, Director General of the TobaccoFree Research Institute Ireland (TFRI) Dublin, facilitated discussion between expert speakers Dr Silvano Gallus, Dr Janice Leung and Dr Catherine O. Egbe. The webinar aimed to: · Make sense of the published results on the prevalence and severity of COVID-19 in smokers · Understand the biological mechanisms at play in the interaction between smoking and Sars-CoV-2, and ACE-2 at organ level in COVID-19 disease · Equip policy makers to prepare for the risks and opportunities which may arise in tobacco control during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1st Satellite Event of FIRMST- Forum for Interdisciplinary Research in Medical Science & Technology Panel Discussion on Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition and Abstract Presentations by young scientists (under 35 years) 23rd of August 2020. https://www.firmst.tech/
TACK SHS: Tackling tobacco-related chronic diseases in Europe: 8_october_tackshs_icolc.docx Novel data from the Horizon 2020 TackSHS project reveals the results of exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) from cigarettes and second-hand aerosols (SHA) from electronic cigarettes on the respiratory health of European population, the burden of associated mortality and morbidity, and economic consequences for national and European welfare. Press release from final conference.
New Irish research shows “Allen Carr” is successful for smoking cessation: New study has just been published in the BMJ’s Tobacco Control journal which shows results of the first published Randomised Clinical trial in the world demonstrating that Allen Carr ‘s Easyway to stop smoking is a highly effective treatment to help smokers quit. Full Paper available here.
TFRI deliverable 'Development of policy recommendations' used the empirical evidence generated in the project to develop recommendations for the prevention of youth smoking. More detailed recommendations can be found here.
Youth turning to cheaper Roll Your Own Tobacco Products: Newspaper Link
Tobacco Free Ireland (‘TFI’), the report of the Tobacco Policy Review Group, was endorsed by Government and published in October 2013. An Action Plan for TFI was published in March 2015 and one of its actions committed the Department of Health to publish an annual report on the implementation of the Plan.Considerable progress was made in 2017 in implementing the Action Plan as set out in detail in the Annual Report.
TOB-g project launched its e-learning course November 2017. The Tob-g e-course constitutes a key part of this important project. This course is based on the structure and material of the Tob-g guidelines. Its aim is to provide an individualised approach to smoking cessation within five clearly distinctive sub-populations of smokers, who obviously cannot continue to be treated as a single entity. Teenagers, cardiovascular patients, pregnant women, patients with diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) belong to clearly distinct groups and reasonably so require a tailored approach to treatment.
The first new building to be constructed on the Dublin Institute of Technology Grangegorman campus has been opened.The Greenway Hub will be home to the institution’s postgraduate researchers as well as those commercialising their research and growing spin-out companies. The 5-storey €17 million euro building will host DIT’s Environmental Sustainability and Health Institute (ESHI) with researchers working in areas like vision science, food and water quality, energy, bio monitoring and diagnostics, and health policy development. More news:
ESPAD Ireland 2015 published, 20th September, 2016 Ireland’s 2015 report on the European Schools Project on Alcohol & other Drugs in Ireland (ESPAD) finds a dramatic reduction in teenage drinking and smoking but concerns over e-cigarettes, drugs and gambling. Smoking and drinking among 15-16 year-old school students are falling dramatically, but challenges posed by illicit drug use remain. In this age group, Ireland has much lower levels of drinking, binge drinking and smoking than the European average, but higher use of cannabis, inhalants and other drugs. Find out more here.
European Court of Justice upholds Tobacco Products Directive:Great news from the European Court of Justice – all three challenges against the EU Tobacco Products Directive were rejected today May 4th 2016. The Court rejected the challenge brought by Philip Morris and British American Tobacco which sought to invalidate the TPD as a whole, or alternatively various provisions of the Directive including, inter alia, mandatory large pictorial warnings, the ban on characterising flavours and measures concerning tracking and tracing.
An assessment of the economic costs of smoking in Ireland: Key findings: It is estimated that smoking causes 5,870 deaths per annum with an additional 92 per annum as a result of exposure to second hand smoke (SHS). This is an increase from an estimated 5,200 deaths per annum previously calculated, the increase is due to more cancers and respiratory diseases being attributable to smoking than heretofore. Healthcare costs The estimated cost to the healthcare system as a result of smoking is over a half a billion euro (€506 million) as outlined below: · Hospital based costs €211 million · Primary care costs €256 million · Domiciliary care costs €40 million.