Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Questions (103)

Louise O'Reilly


103. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if smoking cessation aids will be provided under the medical card; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5313/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Tobacco consumption is the largest avoidable health threat in Ireland; one in two smokers will die from a tobacco related disease. The policy document "Tobacco Free Ireland" sets out over 60 recommendations, with the overall aims of denormalising smoking in our society, protecting children from the harms of tobacco, enforcing, regulating and legislating for tobacco activities and products, educating about the dangers of tobacco and assisting those who smoke to stop.Making nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) more widely available, including in outlets where tobacco products are sold, is one of the recommendations in "Tobacco Free Ireland". NRT is available to medical card holders, on prescription, on the General Medical Services (GMS) Scheme. NRT products are also available as over the counter items, without the need for a prescription. In 2014, the Health Products Regulatory Authority announced that it had licensed some NRT items for sale in non-pharmacy outlets. In addition, two non-nicotine prescription medicines are authorised in Ireland to assist in smoking cessation, and these are available in the community drug schemes.

Question No. 104 answered with Question No. 69.