Free e-cig trial begins Autumn 2021
It was announced today that Accident and Emergency departments at hospitals in Edinburgh, Leicester, London and Norfolk are running a trial due to start in Autumn 2021, in which smokers will be given free e-cigs through the NHS.
A random selection of patients that smoke will be given a vape kit, a week’s supply of e-liquid, and medical advice, as well as a referral to their local smoking cessation clinic. E-cigs are not currently available through the NHS, but this trial comes off the back of unwavering support of e-cigs as a stop smoking aid from public health bodies in the UK.
As we know, e-cigarettes are much less harmful than smoking, Public Health England state that e-cigs are at least 95% less harmful than regular cigarettes. Disappointingly, even with this backing and a positive stance from organisations such as Cancer Research UK, the public’s opinion of vaping is worse informed than it was five years ago. Only 4 in 10 smokers in Great Britain correctly believe that vaping is less harmful than smoking.
The trial will see smokers who attend A&E split into two groups. One group will be given an e-cig starter kit and e-liquid, while the other will be given a leaflet about their local smoking cessation service. Both groups will then be monitored over six months, and asked at key points if they are still smoking.
Professor Caitlin Notley, one of the leads in the study, said vaping is an ‘attractive option’:
“Electronic cigarettes mimic the experience of cigarette smoking because they are hand-held and generate a smoke-like vapour when used. They can be an attractive option for helping people switch from smoking, even if they have tried and failed in the past.”
Professor John Newton, at Public Health England, said:
“The best thing that a smoker can do is to stop smoking completely and the evidence shows that vaping is one of the most effective quit aids available, helping around 50,000 smokers quit a year. Thousands more could have quit except for unfounded safety fears about e-cigarettes.”
For a number of years Totally Wicked has worked closely with smoking cessation service across the country. Liam Humberstone, Technical Director said:
“The announcement of the UEA led trial represents another milestone in the acceptance of vaping as a legitimate and effective means to quitting smoking. While advertising restrictions prevent us from describing our products’ true purpose, the UK medical establishment is starting to recognise an empowerment that our customers have known about for some years now.”