A review of the HSE's services to help people stop smoking is under way.

The assessment, carried out by the Health and Information Authority, follows a request from the Department of Health.

HIQA said its investigation will look at the effectiveness and safety of smoking cessation therapies available, the impact on long term quit rates and the cost of a number of different treatments.

Findings of the report will be submitted to the Minister for Health and the Health Service Executive.

Smoking is the leading cause of avoidable death in Ireland, with over 5,500 people dying each year from the effects of smoking.

Dr Mairin Ryan, HIQA's Director of Health Technology Assessment, said that this latest survey will look at the comparative effectiveness, including cost effectiveness, of different interventions currently available.

She said the research will help design the best programme for the health service to help people quit smoking.

Dr Ryan said the interventions HIQA will be examining include nicotine replacement therapy, drugs that decrease cravings and behavioural and counselling measures.

She said HIQA will also look at evidence available surrounding electronic cigarettes.