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Ireland – Health Issues

Like many developed countries, Ireland faces a range of health issues that are largely linked to lifestyle and demographic factors. Some of the most common health issues that affect the population in Ireland include:


According to a report by the Health Service Executive (HSE), more than 60% of Irish adults are either overweight or obese. Obesity is a major risk factor for a number of health problems, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain cancers.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is a leading cause of death in Ireland, accounting for more than 7,000 deaths per year. Risk factors for heart disease include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and lack of physical activity.


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Cancer is also a major health concern in Ireland, with more than 40,000 new cases diagnosed each year. The most common types of cancer in Ireland include breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal cancer.

Mental Health

Mental health is a growing concern in Ireland, with rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide on the rise. According to a report by the HSE, more than 1 in 4 people in Ireland will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives.

Smoking in Ireland

Prevalence of Smoking

Smoking is still a significant public health concern in Ireland. According to the Irish Cancer Society, around 17% of the population smokes, with higher rates among younger adults and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

Attitudes Towards Smoking

Attitudes towards smoking have shifted significantly in Ireland in recent years. Smoking is now widely regarded as a harmful and anti-social habit, and many people are actively trying to quit or encourage others to do so.

Smoking Legislation

Ireland has introduced a number of measures to reduce smoking rates and protect public health. These include:

  • A ban on smoking in all enclosed public spaces, including workplaces, bars, restaurants, and public transport.
  • A ban on smoking in cars when children are present.
  • A ban on the display of tobacco products in shops.
  • High taxes on tobacco products to discourage use.

The government has also pledged to make Ireland tobacco-free by 2025, which means reducing the smoking rate to less than 5%.