Britain to give cigarette smokers vapes in world’s 1st ‘swap to stop’ scheme
One million smokers will be encouraged to swap cigarettes for “vapes”, the British government said on Tuesday, offering financial incentives for pregnant women to make the switch in what would be a world first. will go
The Department of Health (DoH) said that under the scheme, a vape – an e-cigarette – starter kit will be provided along with support to help smokers quit.
Vouchers will also be given to pregnant women to help them kick the habit as part of the government’s target to reduce the number of smokers from 13% now to 5% or less.
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“Up to two in three lifetime smokers will die from smoking,” the government said, Health Minister Neil O’Brien will say in a speech later on Tuesday. Cigarettes are the only product on sale that will kill you if used correctly,” the government said.
“We will offer new help to a million smokers to quit. We will fund a new national ‘Swap to Stop’ scheme – the first of its kind in the world.”
Although the average rate of smoking worldwide is higher than in Britain, tobacco is still the most preventable cause of death and disease in the country, the DoH said.
The government spent $84.52 million on local authority measures to help people stop smoking in 2021-22, helping 100,000 smokers quit, and easing pressure on Britain’s overcrowded National Health Service.
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Vaping, however, has its critics and health officials warn that its popularity among children is exposing them to chemicals whose long-term effects are unclear.
Health Service figures show that 9% of 11 to 15-year-olds in Britain used e-cigarettes in 2021, up from 6% three years earlier. The government said it would set up an enforcement squad backed by £3m of funding to crack down on the illegal sale of vape to under-18s.