Free e-cigs given out in battle to get 87,000 Northamptonshire smokers to trash the ash
Health officials say vaping is a better option for die-hards who just can't quit
Health officials are stepping their bid to get Northamptonshire's smokers to trash the ash before the decade is out.
The county's Stop Smoking Service are offering free e-cigarettes to pregnant women and anyone who wants to quit and signs up for a 12-week programme.
They will also be hitting the road with a series of workplace interventions providing e-cigarettes and voucher incentives to those looking to quit.
This work, funded by the East Midlands Cancer Alliance, gives workplaces the opportunity to significantly improve the health and well-being of their employees at absolutely no cost.
Public Health England say vaping is 95 per cent less harmful than smoking tobacco and it has also been found to be almost twice as effective as nicotine replacement therapy in helping smokers to quit.
County Council Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Ian Morris said: “Whilst not entirely risk free, vaping is considerably safer than smoking.
"The consequences of continuing to use tobacco – which kills one out of every two lifetime users – far exceed any potential harm posed by e-cigarettes.
“Public Health Northamptonshire is encouraging all smokers to engage with the Stop Smoking Service for expert support and advice as soon as possible and to consider switching to e-cigarettes to help them quit for good.
”Despite significant reductions in the amount of people smoking in Northamptonshire over the last 20 years, there are still more than 87,000 smokers in the county with tobacco taking the lives of hundreds of residents annually and costing the local economy more than £160 million.
Rates of smoking in pregnancy in the county remains significantly higher than the national average.
Smoking can be linked to complications in pregnancy, stillbirth, premature births, and sudden infant death syndrome.
Health services in other parts of the UK have already started using e-cigarettes as a way to improve outcomes for babies and expectant mothers and this option is now available to pregnant women in Northamptonshire.
The Government has set a target of a smoke-free generation by 2030.
According to campaigners Action on Smoking and Health, 3.6million vapers in the UK – over half of them who have switched from tobacco.
Any Northamptonshire residents who would like to stop smoking, can email [email protected] uk or call 0300 126 5700.