Norfolk’s smokers have been offered e-cigarettes and vaping, an increasingly popular way to quit smoking, stated recent reports.
In the past year, Norfolk County Council – working with Smokefree Norfolk and a vape company – have given out 742 vouchers for e-cigarettes and equipment worth £20 to people looking to quit smoking, as part of a county-wide strategy.
The voucher enables adult smokers to obtain a vape starter kit which includes a vape device and juice.
Smokefree Norfolk’s stop smoking advisors will then support them through their quit programme.
Smokefree Norfolk operations manager James Wade said, “Public Health England estimate e-cigarettes to be 95pc less harmful to health than tobacco cigarettes.
“If an adult who smokes makes the switch to an e-cigarette, they can improve the quality of their life long-term.”
Louise Smith, the county’s director of public health, stated that while prescribing a replacement for nicotine can be helpful, such as patches, gum and drugs, recently “we have been trialing vaping”.
“There are hundreds of chemicals and poisons in cigarettes and the vast majority of those chemicals and poisons are not in vapes.
“The evidence is very strong that you will do far less damage vaping than smoking,” she said.
Smith said there are still some areas in Norfolk where smoking rates are much higher than the national average with “lower income areas having more smokers”.
To be considered for the vaping voucher scheme, smokers can be referred by their GP or should complete a referral form available on the Smokefree website: https://www.smokefreenorfolk.nhs.uk/contact-us/.