Half of all smokers will die of the habit
Health chiefs have launched a new 'quit smoking' drive with the warning half of all smokers will die from their habit.
The Health Service Executive is hoping the shock statistic will force tobacco users into at least trying to give up.
Dr Fenton Howell, the HSE's director of public health, said the figure was not well known.
"Surprisingly only 7pc of people know that one in every two smokers will die of a tobacco-related disease," he said.
"Our aim is to make people realise the effect smoking has on their health, and that of their loved ones, and give them encouragement and help to quit."
He urged smokers to use supports like the national smokers' Quitline, online help, smoking cessation services or medications, which are twice as likely to help people succeed.
Smoking is the single biggest cause of illness, disability and death in the country.
Dr Howell said eight in 10 smokers say they want to quit, while half that number try to quit every year.
Most smokers give it up for good after a few attempts, he added.
"Many of them feel quitting is too hard, that they won't make it -- our campaign will remind smokers it's never too late, and quitting is worth it."