Tobacco Free Ireland Programme

Background - Tobacco Free Ireland Programme

The Tobacco Control Framework document was developed by the Health Service Executive (HSE) Tobacco Control Framework Project Group guided by a national steering group in order to inform HSE policy and provide a coherent HSE approach to tobacco use in Ireland. It was launched in March 2010 and detailed a series of actions to be progressed over the following five years (2010 - 2015). In developing the Tobacco Control Framework, a population health approach was considered and outlined in the HSE's Population Health Strategy.

The Health and Wellbeing Division is prioritising its efforts to achieve meaningful and measureable results across key Government Policies and Strategies aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of the population. Healthy Ireland is our overarching Government Policy which presents a roadmap for achieving improved health and wellbeing for all in society. Healthy Ireland's actions and governance mechanisms are reflected in strategies including National Positive Ageing, Tobacco Free Ireland and Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures among others.

The HSE are committed under Action 4.5 of the Health Service Reform in Healthy Ireland to "establish multi-disciplinary national teams within the Health and Wellbeing Directorate to lead and take responsibility for policy priority areas". The Tobacco Free Ireland Programme is one of the first priority area programmes to be set up. The main aim of the new programme is to take responsibility of and systematically drive policy priorities in the area of tobacco control. Ms. Martina Blake, National Tobacco Free Ireland Lead will have overall responsiblity for the Tobacco Free Ireland Programme.

Programme Governance

Good governance underpins the National Programmes in line with Healthy Ireland's vision. A systematic approach guided by the Healthy Ireland operating principles will inform the work of the National Programmes:

  • Better governance and leadership
  • Better use of people and resources
  • Better partnerships
  • Better systems for healthcare
  • Better use of evidence
  • Better measurement and evaluation
  • Better programme management

National Tobacco Free Ireland Implementation Group

A Tobacco Free Ireland Implementation group has been set up with clear terms of reference that will provide strategic direction for work, monitor progress and facilitate effective co-operation between divisions. Membership of the implementation groups should include senior management from each HSE division, the Hospital Groups and Community Healthcare Organisations who will have responsibility for the delivery of agreed actions that are articulated in the National Service Plan and Operational Plans. The Tobacco Control Free Ireland Programme Group  (TFIPG) is chaired by Ms. Martina Blake, Tobacco Free Ireland Programme Lead. TORS for the group can be found here.

The National Tobacco Free Ireland Programme Team in conjunction with the TFIPG will devise a 4 year National Implementation Plan. The programme team will drive, co-ordinate and support the delivery of the National Implementation Plan. This team is managed by the Programme Lead.

The Tobacco Free Ireland (TFI) Policy document was developed by the Department of Health. The TFI policy document has a number of recommendations and these are based on the six national standards based on the WHO report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2008. That report outlines the EMPOWER package, a package of the six most important, effective and evidenced based tobacco policies which are;

  • Monitoring of tobacco use and prevention policies
  • Protecting people from second-hand smoke
  • Offering help to people who want to quit
  • Warning of the dangers of tobacco
  • Enforcing bans on advertising, promotion and sponsership
  • Raising taxes on tobacco

Please see a copy of the Tobacco Control Framework - Tobacco Free Ireland

The Tobacco Free Ireland policy was published by the Department of Health in October 2013 and should be considered within the Healthy Ireland Framework 2013 - 2025. It acknowledges that health is the responsibility of all sectors in society and that sustainable arrangements are needed to give effect to this change.

The high levels of smoking in Ireland require a more concerted effort to support the continued development of a tobacco free society where people can live longer and healthier lives free from detrimental effects of tobacco. The direction given in this policy report seeks to de-normalise tobacco within Irish society, reduce initiation rates, assist smokers to quit, protect non smokers, especially children, from the effects of second hand smoke, by building a stable policy and legislative framework.

Please click here for a copy of the Policy and the Action Plan for delivery published in March 2014.