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E Cigarettes On the NHS In Bid To Stub Out Smoking

E Cigarettes On the NHS In Bid To Stub Out Smoking

2021-06-09

An all party group of UK MPs wants e-cigarettes given out by the NHS to smokers desperate to quit.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health [APPG] has come up with a 12 step plan to combat smoking and to get the UK Government’s 2030 SmokeFree plan back on track.

E Cigarettes On the NHS


Released today the plan says:

  • Legislate to make tobacco manufacturers pay for a Smokefree 2030 Fund to bring an end to smoking

  • The UK needs to take its place on the world stage as a smoke free leader

  • Set targets for 2025 and update the strategy if the UK isn’t on track to reach smoke free by 2035

  • Anti-smoking campaigns to people who work in manual-based jobs and to the unemployed

  • Ensure smokers are urged to quit on an annual basis

  • More support given to people in social housing or who have mental health issues

  • Ensure all pregnant smokers are given financial incentive to quit in addition to smoking cessation support

  • Fund regional programmes to reduce the use of illicit tobacco in deprived communities

  • Warnings need to be put on individual cigarettes and close the loopholes on other regulations

  • Reduce the appeal and availability of cigarettes to kids

  • Allow e-cigarettes to be authorised for NHS prescription

  • Consult on raising the age of sale for tobacco from 18 to 21

Big Tobacco Should Pay!

Chair of the APPG Bob Blackman MP says the 12 step plan should be funded by Big Tobacco adding:

Our report sets out measures which will put us on track to achieve the Government’s ambition to end smoking by 2030, but they can’t be delivered without funding.

Tobacco manufacturers make extreme profits selling highly addictive, lethal products, while government coffers are bare because of COVID-19.

The manufacturers have the money, they should be made to pay to end the epidemic.

Nice idea, as to if Big Tobacco will stump up the cash remains to be seen.

However the APPG and indeed other interested groups are keen to see the UK Government making a push towards its big idea of a SmokeFree 2030.

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Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH, said:

We all applauded when the Government announced its ambition for a Smokefree 2030.

But that was two years ago, the time has now come to deliver.

The report has been welcomed by an impressive list of medical institutions including:

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the Association of Directors of Public Health, Asthma UK, the British Heart Foundation, the British Lung Foundation, the British Thoracic Society, Cancer Research UK, the Faculty of Public Health, the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, the Health Foundation, the Royal Society of Public Health and the Royal College of Physicians.

As I said, an impressive list.

Vaping advocacy groups are currently digesting the plan and I’ll have their reactions in Sunday’s Vaping News.

Should E-cigarettes Be Given Out On Prescription?

I did touch on E Cigarettes On the NHS a few years ago in the piece: Could Vape Shops Team Up With the NHS and Should They?

I wasn’t that keen on the idea…

vape shops in uk hospitals
Vape shops now in UK hospitals

My point then was the key to a successful quit smoking attempt using e-cigarettes is the personal investment a smoker makes.

In other words, by buying the vape kit and e-liquid, it has cost them money and adds to the chance of them persevering.

Another worry is just what starter kits and e-liquid will be offered on NHS prescriptions?

Back in 2017 I wrote the article E-Cigarettes Sold in Chemists Shops Are Owned By Big Tobacco .

Given the majority of Big Tobacco owned vape kits and e-liquids are not as good or as flavoursome as the products from mainstream vape companies, many smokers may be set to fail.

As to if the UK Government will allow e-cigarettes to be handed out on prescription we shall have to see.

One thing is clear, and that’s e-cigarettes MUST remain front and centre of any future UK Government stop smoking plan.


As Alison Cook, Director of External Affairs at Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation, said, lives depend on it:

Smoking still accounts for 35% of all respiratory deaths in England each year and it is still the leading cause of preventable lung diseases such as lung cancer and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

We welcome the recommendations in this report, which include targeted support for people to successfully quit this deadly addiction.

If the government is serious about reaching its own target of becoming smoke-free by 2030, it needs to do much more by urgently providing sustainable funding for the delivery of stop smoking services across the NHS and in the community, as a broad offer is highly effective in supporting people to quit.

Without action now, we will continue to see thousands of people die every year as a result of preventable lung diseases linked to smoking.

As I said I’ll hopefully have reactions from the wider vaping community on Sunday.

So…

What are your thoughts about vape kits on NHS prescriptions?

Good or bad idea?

Please let me know in the comments below

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