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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

The findings of the Healthy Ireland survey conducted by the Department of Health were released yesterday. More than 7,000 households were included in the survey which shows that a plateau has been reached when it comes to tackling obesity in that 60% of people are still overweight. It has found that four in ten men do not get enough exercise. The most commonly desired lifestyle change is that people wish to be more active. In most jobs it is usual for people to spend more than five hours a day sitting at a desk. Less than one in five people now smokes each day, which is most welcome. This shows that the strategy followed in the past ten years has worked. Advertising campaigns such as the very sad one featuring Gerry Collins who has since died have been very effective. Clearly, we need to do something when it comes to health, in particular about obesity, being overweight and unhealthy lifestyles. It would make a big difference if there was a similar campaign targeting these issues. We have made considerable headway in tackling the use of tobacco and smoking, which is very much to be welcomed. It was brought to my attention recently that some cigarette companies had started to sell packs of 28 cigarettes. That is a blatant attempt by cigarette manufacturers to get people who smoke to smoke more. Everybody knows that smokers tend to talk about how many packets of cigarettes they smoke each day or week. Larger packets pose a risk. They are not a good idea and could result in those who smoke smoking up to 30% or 40% more. We are moving in the right direction when it comes to tackling obesity but an advertising campaign of the sort we have seen in tackling smoking would be good.