Kirklees Council has teamed up with the charity Yorkshire Cancer Research to offer vaping devices to adult smokers looking to quit for good.
The devices are being offered through the Kirklees Wellness Service, which provides behaviour support alongside medications for adults across Kirklees, and Auntie Pam’s, which supports expectant mothers to stop smoking.
According to the Office of Health Improvement and Disparities, formerly known as Public Health England, and the NHS, vaping is far less harmful than smoking¹ ². Switching to vaping completely can improve the health of smokers substantially compared to continuing to smoke.
A recent review of evidence by Cochrane – a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers and people interested in health - has shown that vaping devices are more effective than Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), such as patches, gum, and inhalers, for supporting smokers to quit³.
Vaping is also the most popular stop smoking aid, and it has been estimated that there are up to 57000 additional quitters a year in England and 5000 a year in Yorkshire because of them⁴;
Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable death, with more than 500 people losing their lives to smoking-related illness every year in Kirklees alone⁵.
Cllr Musarrat Khan, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care said: “I am delighted to see the launch of this Vaping Device scheme here in Kirklees. As a council we are committed to tackling health inequalities and the vaping device offer from Yorkshire Cancer Research will help those residents who want to stop smoking live healthier lives and have a positive impact on their family and friends.”
Dr Stuart Griffiths, Director of Research, Services and Policy at Yorkshire Cancer Research said: “As a charity, we are committed to saving lives by helping more people quit smoking for good. Yorkshire has the highest smoking rate in England, and this causes thousands of smoking-related cancers and needless deaths in our region each year.
“When it comes to helping people quit for good, being able to offer vaping products is essential. They are an incredibly effective aid in helping people give up cigarettes.
“We are delighted to be working with Kirklees Council to help bring this important option to people who are desperate to quit but need access to the best possible support. It’s vital that stop smoking services across Yorkshire seek to provide their clients with this valuable aid.”
Vaping devices (also known as e-cigarettes or vapes) allow the inhalation of nicotine, the addictive component of cigarettes, through vapour rather than smoke. They do not burn tobacco, but instead contain the nicotine in an e-liquid of flavourings and glycol or glycerine.
The vaping devices are available from Kirklees Council’s stop smoking services alongside Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT) such as patches or gum. Compared to NRT, vaping devices are cost effective. Typically, a vaping device costs around £70 for 12 weeks, while NRT can cost up to £360 for a 12-week course, providing huge potential savings to the service.
Reducing smoking rates with this additional option supports the UK Government’s ambition for England to be ‘smokefree’ by 2030⁵ and could save local NHS trusts millions of pounds.
Self-referrals can be made to the Wellness Service by visiting their website or calling 01484 234095.
More information about the Auntie Pam’s service can be found here.