Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Cosgrave et al 2023 - tobacco control.pdf (291.7 kB)

Is the public ready for a tobacco-free Ireland? A national survey of public knowledge and attitudes towards tobacco endgame in Ireland

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-24, 11:20 authored by Ellen Juliet Cosgrave, Martina Blake, Edward Murphy, Aishling Sheridan, Frank DoyleFrank Doyle, Paul KavanaghPaul Kavanagh

Aim: Ireland will not meet the tobacco endgame goal set in its 2013 Tobacco-Free Ireland (TFI) policy of reducing smoking prevalence to less than 5% by 2025. Public opinion on tobacco endgame, a key lever to realise this goal, is uncharted in Ireland. This study aimed to measure public knowledge and attitudes to tobacco endgame.

Methods: A telephone-administered cross-sectional survey of 1000 randomly dialled members of the general public was conducted in 2022. Prevalence of awareness, perceived achievability and support for the TFI goal and tobacco endgame measures was calculated and compared across tobacco product use status. Logistic regression identified factors independently associated with goal support.

Findings: Although TFI goal awareness was low (34.0%), support was high (74.6%), although most (60.2%) believed it achievable beyond 2025. Product-focused measures were popular while support for supply-focused measures was mixed: for example, 86.1% supported nicotine content reduction while 40.3% supported user licencing. Phasing out tobacco sales was highly supported (82.8%); for most, this was contingent on support for currently addicted users. TFI goal support was independently associated with female sex (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.47, 95% CI 1.05 to 2.07), higher education (aOR 1.80, 95% CI 1.21 to 2.66) and non-tobacco product use (aOR 2.67, 95% CI 1.66 to 4.30).

Conclusions: Despite low awareness, tobacco endgame support is strong in Ireland. Public appetite for radically reducing tobacco product appeal and availability combined with public views on endgame achievability subject to extended timelines should be used to re-invigorate tobacco endgame discussion and planning in countries at risk of failing to meet declared targets.


Health Service Executive Tobacco-Free Ireland Programme



The original article is available at

Published Citation

Cosgrave EJ. et al. Is the public ready for a tobacco-free Ireland? a national survey of public knowledge and attitudes to tobacco endgame in Ireland. Tob Control. 2023:tc-2023-057958

Publication Date

26 May 2023

PubMed ID



  • Health Psychology
  • Public Health and Epidemiology

Research Area

  • Population Health and Health Services


BMJ Pub. Group


  • Published Version (Version of Record)