Smokers Offered Free Vapes Can Help Thousands in Quitting the Habbit: Study


A study suggests that providing free vapes at emergency departments could help thousands of people quit smoking.
According to research from the University of East Anglia (UEA), supplying A&E patients with e-cigarettes and a referral to a stop smoking adviser helped them kick the habit more effectively than simply directing them to assistance.

According to Dr. Ian Pope of UEA’s Norwich Medical School, implementing this strategy could lead to over 22,000 additional people quitting smoking annually.

According to the Office for National Statistics, approximately 6.4 million adults in the UK smoked in 2022, while the NHS reports that approximately 76,000 people in the UK die each year as a result of smoking.

In their trial, conducted between January and August two years ago in six emergency departments throughout the UK, the team provided around 484 daily smokers with brief counsel from a dedicated adviser while in the hospital, as well as an e-cigarette starting kit and a referral to stop smoking programs.

A second group of 488 patients received simply textual information on how to get stop smoking programs.

After six months, researchers gave study participants a carbon monoxide test to establish that they had quit smoking. Those given vapes and a referral were 76% more likely to quit.

When comparing the groups, 7.2% of those given vapes quit smoking after six months, compared to 4.1% of those given merely advise.

The first group was also more likely to attempt to quit, and they self-reported that their seven-day abstinence from smoking after six months was somewhat more than 23%, compared to 13% in the group directed to services.

Hazel Cheeseman, deputy chief executive of public health charity Action on Smoking and Health, stated that the findings “are compelling” and should be “carefully considered by those in the NHS and local government who are planning services for smokers”.

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