Stoptober: NHS Backs Vaping

By Paul McGuirk

The annual Stoptober anti-smoking campaign is set to embrace vaping for the first time, in line with draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

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Until now, the government has avoided the promotion of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid. However, this year’s Stoptober campaign will include vaping in its marketing material, after polls revealed that e-cigarettes were the most popular tool used by smokers to help kick the habit in 2016.

According to statistics collated by Stoptober organisers, over half of those who gave up smoking last year used one of the devices, either to temporarily deal with cravings or as a long-term alternative to cigarettes.

Old habits

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that over a quarter of adults were classed as regular smokers in 2000. This number has been in sharp decline year-on-year, with just 15 percent of adults in the UK classed as regular smokers in 2016, proof positive that the UK is getting the message when it comes to the link between smoking and serious debilitating health conditions.

However, this data fails to account for the number of people eschewing smoking for e-cigarettes, a trend noticed by Dean Whitehead of Alauna Vapour Store, which is one of Cumbria’s longest established retailers of e-liquids, e-cigs and assorted paraphernalia.

Dean explained: “We’ve definitely noticed an increase in the number of middle-aged and elderly people switching over to e-cigarettes.

“As the popularity of vaping increases, it perhaps gives the older population a bit more confidence to try an alternative.”

Winning the war on smoking

The NHS website now describes e-cigarettes as “a great way to help combat nicotine cravings”, adding that the devices carry “a fraction of the risk” of regular cigarettes, leading some to speculate that vaping could eventually be available via the National Health Service to help long-term smokers beat their addiction.

Professor Gina Radford, the government’s deputy chief medical officer, also agreed in a recent interview that e-cigs were playing “an important role” in helping people to quit smoking. Alongside several other factors, including the introduction of standardised packaging, the implementation of display bans in shops and increased taxation on tobacco products, all of which were implemented in the past twelve months as part of legislation aimed at restricting the marketing powers of tobacco manufacturers.

Find your nearest Alauna Vapour Store

Workington, 9 Oxford Street – 01900 601 099

Whitehaven, 56 Roper Street  – 01946 696 513

Cockermouth, 74 Main Street, 01900 822 280

Stoptober begins on October 1. For further information on the campaign, or for help and advice on smoking cessation, visit www.nhs.uk/oneyou/Stoptober.

 

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