Due to a high prevalence of smokers among patients and staff, Totally Wicked has been working with the Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust to support hundreds of smokers make the switch to vaping. More than 500 byte kits have been handed to smokers within the trust, all supported by dedicated vaping and smoking cessation advice from our team of highly-trained retail staff.
Free Totally Wicked Starter Kits given to Mersey Care smokers
The Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust is responsible for a number of different sites, including hospitals and mental health clinics. With the aim of ‘empowering smokers to transform their lives’, Totally Wicked visited the following sites, armed with a number of byte e-cigarette kits, simple guides to switching to vaping, and their vast knowledge.
- Merseycare NHS Foundation Trust Head Office
- Mossley Hospital
- Windsor House Day Hospital
- Clock View Hospital
- Christina Hartley Medical Practice
- Broadoak Unit, Broadgreen
- Hope Centre
- Rathbone Rehabilitation Service
On the eight site visits, a total of 530 byte e-cigarette kits were given out to patients and staff members; all of whom were smokers. Extra pods were also given out to help the recipients continue their stop smoking journey and ongoing discounts provided to help them stay smokefree long term.
On hand at the events were some of Totally Wicked’s most experienced retail staff. All Totally Wicked retail staff are trained to NCSCT Practitioner level. This means that the visitors to the Mersey Care Totally Wicked stands were not only given expert vaping advice but also some helpful support on things that might help in making the switch for life.
Tim Isherwood, Birmingham Store Manager and Neil Skinner, Regional Manager have a breadth of experience both in-store and at various smoker engagement events up and down the country. Tim and Neil were supported by Dom Doherty, Brian Kendal and Ashley Smith, who also boast a wealth of experience at Totally Wicked.
Totally Wicked Store Manager, Tim Isherwood said,
It was an amazing experience. I’ve done quite a few similar events in my time at TW and this was without a doubt the most engaged and fulfilling. Peter Terry, the Nicotine Management Lead at Mersey Care trust had whipped up a frenzy amongst the staff and patients and I’ve never seen as many people as keen to quit smoking all in one location. There was a great buzz around the events, and the fact that so many people will be side-by-side quitting smoking together and supporting each other through the process is fantastic.
Peter Terry, Nicotine Management Lead at Mersey Care NHS Foundation was also on hand to support the initiative. He said,
It was a pleasure to work alongside Totally Wicked at several of our sites, who were able to give expert advice in a professional and courteous manner. Promoting a safer way of effective nicotine management, in partnership with a reputable company, can be of great benefit in helping NHS Trusts improve the physical health of staff and service users.
The importance of working with NHS Trusts
Working with NHS Trusts is a pivotal initiative as it allows us to reach smokers who are struggling to ditch the cigarettes, in potentially the most suitable environment possible. NHS Trusts are well equipped to give specialised stop smoking support; however, they are not necessarily endowed with effective vaping goods and specific advice on quitting smoking with the help of an e-cigarette.
The UK government has set a target of becoming smoke-free by 2030. This means within the next 10 years smoking rates must fall from 14.4% to less than 5%, if they are to achieve this goal. The combination of e-cigarettes and specialised stop smoking support is recognised by top health professionals as the most effective way of stopping smoking. By working together, vape shops and NHS Trusts can help slash smoking rates and move the UK closer to being smoke-free.
The latest figures show that 3.6 million people in the UK now vape and more than half of these vapers have quit smoking. Despite this, very few NHS Trusts give out vaping goods as part of their smoking cessation initiatives. In fact, just 11% of trusts in England currently offer e-cigarette starter packs as part of their smoking cessation support. In a joint study by Cancer Research UK and Action on Smoking and Health, the authors recommend,
Local authorities which do not currently provide e-cigarette starter packs as part of their cessation offer should consider doing so to give local smokers the best possible chance to quit.
At Totally Wicked, we’re delighted to see recognised public health bodies endorsing the positive impact of vaping and producing guidance for NHS Trusts. This gives these Trusts the reassurance to work with reputable vape companies like Totally Wicked. In just a matter of days, a potential of 641 smokers’ lives have been changed. We look forward to seeing more and more NHS trusts work with responsible independent vape companies to help bring smoking rates down, as we work towards a smokefree UK.