News and Events: Tobacco Free Ireland Programme

Free Nicotine Replacement Therapy for HSE Staff

If you are a HSE staff member, you can avail of free stop smoking medication (nicotine replacement therapies and/or a prescription drug called Champix) to help you stop smoking. If Champix is suitable and recommended you can get a free GP visit in order to get this prescription.

Overall, you're up to 4 times more likely to stop smoking for good if you use a combination of stop smoking medication and receive support from a HSE Stop Smoking Advisor. To find out about availing of free nicotine replacement therapy/champix in your area, please refer to the table below.

Area Contact Phone Email
CHO 1: Donegal, Cavan, Leitrim, Cavan, Monaghan Maresa McGettigan 086 0492465
CHO 2: Galway, Mayo, Roscommon Leona Halton / Caroline Folan 087 3837895 / 091 737262
CHO 3: Clare, Limerick, North Tipperary Mary McMahon 065 6865841
CHO 4: Cork, Kerry Anna Burns 087 3626535
CHO 5: Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford Catherine O’Loughlin 087 9371973
CHO 6: Dun Laoghaire, Dublin South East, Wicklow Caroline Walsh 087 0972806
CHO 7: Dublin West, Dublin South City, Dublin South West, Kildare/West Wicklow Elaine Cunniffe 087 6461143
CHO 8: Laois, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath Gail McNeil 086 8157708
CHO 8: Louth and Meath Madeleine Kennedy   087 2363040
CHO 9: Dublin North, Dublin North Central, Dublin North West Rachel Burke 087 2022680

National No Smoking Day 2021 Webinar 

National No Smoking Day takes place every year on Ash Wednesday and is a health awareness day intended to help people who want to quit smoking. A National No Smoking Day webinar was hosted by HSE Health and Wellbeing and the HSE Tobacco Free Ireland Programme on Wednesday 17th February. The webinar set out to give attendees a broad sense of what tobacco control in Ireland looks like and to encourage action and participation in the Tobacco Free Ireland mission. Over 300 attendees (from health services, local authorities, educational institutions, community and voluntary organisations, private industry and international organisations) joined us for a tour through Irish QUIT services and tobacco control initiatives. 

Watch a special address to the audience from Minister Frank Feighan T.D. here

You can watch the recording of the webinar in full here

You can access the presentations by HSE staff members Martina Blake (Lead, HSE TFI Programme), Dr Paul Kavanagh (Consultant in Public Health Medicine) and Darina Carr (QUIT Campaign Manager) here No Smoking Day 2021.pdf (size 3.4 MB). Links to the QUIT videos shown on the webinar and various resources mentioned are available within. 

You can access the presentation on Smoking, Mental Health and Recovery by Nicola Morley, Development Officer with Mental Health Ireland here. The video on the National Conversation Café that Nicola spoke about is linked to within the presentation. 

A summary of answers to questions that were received through the Q&A function is available here

We also mentioned that the Leadership Summit on Tobacco Control is coming up on the 6-7th May. This is a virtual event for global, national, and sub-national leaders to exchange and share the latest developments and best practices on the most important challenges and opportunities for the tobacco control community.The Summit is organised by the 18th World Conference on Tobacco or Health, which is hosted with support from Ireland.  An Taoiseach Micheal Martin and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly will be taking part along with Mr Michael Bloomberg from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the WHO DG and other international leaders in tobacco control. Visit for information. 

Quality Improvement in Tobacco Free Campus Implementation Webinar

A ‘Quality Improvement in Tobacco Free Campus Implementation’ Webinar took place on Thursday 26th November 2020. The purpose of this webinar was to promote and re-energise the importance of tobacco free campus implementation; to encourage uptake and development of Tobacco Free Campus policies in health services that have not gone tobacco free and encourage compliance and sustainability in existing sites.

Martina Blake (National Lead for the HSE Tobacco Free Ireland Programme) presented an overview of tobacco use and the state of tobacco control today. Her input included data on the annual impact of smoking on our health service and hospitalisations attributable to smoking as well as the impact of tobacco use on our ability to respond to COVID-19. There was discussion in relation to the staff time lost due to smoking breaks and absenteeism, patient and public dissatisfaction with tobacco use in our health service and deaths due to fires cause by tobacco in our health services. Leah Fitzsimons (Tobacco Free Campus Lead, TFI) then provided a summary of the 8 Global Quality Standards and innovative practices from the 2019 Tobacco Free Campus Bursary followed by examples of best practice in policy implementation delivered by Andy Cooney (Health Promotion Officer) from ‘Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda’. Frank Lynch (Clinical Nurse Manager) subsequently outlined how the policy is working in The National Forensic Mental Health Service, Dundrum. An interactive element followed, with group discussions to problem solve current challenges associated with compliance. The webinar closed following a plenary Q&A session.

The event was well attended with almost 80 participants in total from a range of services across the organisation as well as some external stakeholders.

Not Around Us

Ireland’s Tobacco Free Ireland strategy, sets a target for Ireland to have a smoking prevalence of less than 5% by 2025 (current rate is 17%). Two of the underpinning objectives running through the strategy are to:

  1. Protect children and denormalise tobacco use, and
  2. Offer help to quit tobacco use.

On World No Tobacco Day, May 2018, the HSE Tobacco Free Ireland (TFI) Programme hosted a conference in Farmleigh House, Co. Dublin with a variety of external partner agencies who are advocates for tobacco control. A number of workshops were held exploring ways in which partner agencies could help denormalise tobacco for the next generation. ‘Not Around Us’ was one of these projects. The Tobacco Free Limerick and ‘#notaroundus’ initiative helps bring Ireland another step closer to a Tobacco Free Ireland.

Limerick City and County Council is committed to supporting the priorities of key partners in Limerick including the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the implementation of the HSE’s tobacco-free campus policy. They recognise that tobacco-free environments should be the new norm in Ireland rather than the exception, with a strong emphasis on the protection of children.

Not Around Us is about promoting an environment where it is easier for those who smoke to quit and stay quit and to help de-normalise smoking for the next generation. A number of Not Around Us communication and awareness-raising resources were developed and used by community, statutory and private sectors in Limerick. These are to encourage adults who smoke not to smoke in public spaces where children, families and young people are gathered. Tobacco free environments and policies are well evidenced in the literature and help to:

  • reduce exposure to second hand smoke
  • moderate and reduce smoking
  • support cessation
  • reduce litter
  • raise awareness of the harms of smoking and,
  • the cessation supports available to those who wish to quit

Limerick Comhairle na nÓg played a pivotal part in collaborating with a number of agencies including Limerick City and County Council and the Health Service Executive (HSE) in the development of Not Around Us resources.

To date, thirty-nine locations across Limerick are now signed up to Not Around Us and other counties in Ireland are already replicating the Not Around Us initiative in their communities.

The HSE has supported the further development of Not Around Us resources (signage and animated videos) to make them available to community, statutory and private groups nationally, who wish to make their public spaces tobacco-free. Links to a number of videos are available here:

For further information, contact

Animated videos

Tobacco Programme Past Conferences & Events