Ireland's Eye: What's going on in the old sod this week
A look at news from around Ireland
Whelan says that unemployment isn’t discriminating along skill and age lines.
“At our resource centers we are seeing a wide range of people are coming in to us. There are young, medium and old, skilled and unskilled and as well as those who were self-employed and employees in the past,” she said.
The latest statistics show 19,020 people signing on at the county’s three social welfare centers, an increase of 720 on the previous month.
IRISH people are smoking less and younger adults are not buying cigarettes as frequently as their parents.
Research has shown that the average smoker reduced their intake by two cigarettes a day in 2010 compared to the previous 12 months.
The smokers’ survey, conducted by the Revenue Commissioners, showed those under the age of 25 who do smoke are more likely to stub out less than 10 times a day. By contrast, the majority of older people smoke 11 or more cigarettes every 24 hours.
When the research was carried out in 2008, Irish smokers were lighting up 17.74 times a day. This fell slightly when the same survey was done, with a bigger sample, in 2009. And by 2010, the average daily rate had dropped to 15.47.
Face-to-face interviews showed that 29% of Irish smokers paid more than €8.51 per packet, which was before the most recent duty increase imposed by Finance Minister Michael Noonan late last year.
The Revenue Commissioners believe its own studies, coupled with similar research, support the view that the habit is slowly dying out. It said statisticians would have to revise the way they estimate overall cigarette use in Ireland to reflect the declining trend in average consumption per smoker.
"Data from the Office of Tobacco Control [OTC] prevalence tracker suggests that smoking prevalence rates have declined in recent years," it said. "In addition, results from this current wave of illegal cigarettes research and from the OTC smoking prevalence tracker indicate that smokers are smoking fewer cigarettes than before."
According to the Revenue survey, Irish men were still smoking more than women by an average of 1.5 cigarettes a day. The proportion of male heavy smokers (who consumed 21 or more a day) was far greater than women at 13% compared with 5%.
However, the bad habits appeared to be phasing out among the younger generation. Those aged between 18-24 had smoked five less a day (12.39) than those who were between 45 and 54.
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