England: Government distributes e-cigarettes to 1 million smokers

The UK government is launching a major programme to reduce smoking in the country. As part of the programme, one million smokers will receive free e-cigarettes. Pregnant smokers and smokers in socio-economically disadvantaged groups will be the first to benefit. 

"We want to make it as easy as possible to quit smoking and we have seen that this strategy has been very successful. Trials have been successful locally in several major cities and have shown good results in subsequent studies," said Minister for Health. Neil O'Brien empty a press conference.

Focus on vulnerable groups

The project will run for two years, coordinated with local stop smoking centres. The initiative is called "Swap to Stop" and will primarily target pregnant women and smokers in socio-economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Employment agencies, homeless centres and shelters will be targeted.

"Smoking not only increases the risk of disease and contributes to a poorer economy. It also leads to economic losses for society as a whole. Smokers get sick more often and are absent from work more often. They are also at greater risk of losing their jobs than non-smokers and ex-smokers", says Mr Perez. Neil O'Brien. "We also know that smoking is almost twice as prevalent among people with mental health problems. This contributes significantly to the fact that people in this group die on average ten years earlier than others."

Pregnant smokers get more help

Pregnant smokers should also receive more effective help to quit. Therefore, vaping will be launched as a 'first line quit aid' at local stop smoking centres. 

'9 per cent of pregnant women smoke during pregnancy, which can have devastating consequences for both woman and child. Large studies have shown that vejping is significantly less harmful than smoking. We also know that it is one of the most effective tools in a smoking cessation programme," says Ms. Perez. Neil O'Brien.

He refers to the reports regularly published by Oxford University and the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction group.

Economic incentives

The support will also include regular lung and breath tests to motivate pregnant women to stay smoke-free. At the same time, health ministers emphasise that economic factors also influence the choice to quit smoking during pregnancy.

"If there are clear economic benefits to quitting smoking, the success rate doubles." Says Neil O'Brien. "Whilst we would prefer that no one smokes or vejpakes, using e-cigarettes is significantly less harmful and cheaper than smoking. A smoker can save up to £2,000 a year just by stopping buying cigarettes."

Together with the 'Swap to stop' initiative, the UK government is also investing £3 million to reduce the illegal sale of e-cigarettes to minors.

Minister Neil O'Brien speech on achieving a smokefree 2030: cutting smoking and stopping kids vaping

Smokers urged to swap cigarettes for vapes in world first scheme

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *