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#hurlthehabit ambassadors, from left, former Cork hurler Joe Deane, former commentator Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, and former Waterford hurler Tony Browne, with children from the Killeagh GAA club, Co Cork, and St Colmcilles, GAA club, Co Meath at Croke Park. 
#hurlthehabit ambassadors, from left, former Cork hurler Joe Deane, former commentator Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, and former Waterford hurler Tony Browne, with children from the Killeagh GAA club, Co Cork, and St Colmcilles, GAA club, Co Meath at Croke Park. 

Hurl the habit on National No Smoking Day


Today, Wednesday 26th February, is National No Smoking Day. Ash Wednesday is the first day of lent and the GAA encourage any smokers that are considering quitting to start that journey today.

Clubs throughout Ireland are becoming smoke free venues – a health drive led by those participating the Healthy Club Project. Of the 150 involved up to 2019, 40% are now smoke-free clubs. An additional 150 clubs joined Phase 4 of the Healthy Club Project in 2020, multiples from each county. Amongst those is Dungannon Thomas Clarke’s in County Tyrone who launched their Smoke Free Club on New Year’s Day. This work is supported by the PHA and the HSE. 

The GAA’s Community & Health department has also teamed up with the Marie Keating Foundation, an official GAA charity 2019, to provide information about lung cancer. Smoking is linked to 90% of lung cancers diagnoses worldwide. Did you know?

·        Lung cancer is the fourth most common cancer in Ireland, with over 2,749 people diagnosed with the disease each year.

·        Men have a slightly higher diagnosis rate with 1,505 men diagnosed with the condition in Ireland in 2019 as opposed to 1,244 women.

·        17% of the Irish population are currently smokers, with the highest rates of smoking being amongst those between the ages of 25-34 (Healthy Ireland 2019 survey)

·        Early detection is imperative to the survival rates of those diagnosed with lung cancer.

·        The best way to reduce your risk of lung cancer is not to smoke, or if you do smoke, quit.

·        You can still get lung cancer even if you never smoked.

·        Signs and symptoms of lung cancer include – Having a cough for more than three weeks, a change in a cough over time, being short of breath, coughing up phlegm with blood in it.

For more information on the Marie Keating Foundation’s work please click here. To find out more about the Healthy Club Project and the work of the GAA’s Community & Health Department visit www.gaa.ie/community If you want help to stop smoking visit www.quit.ie or www.stopsmokingni.info

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