No Smoking Day takes place on 9 March 2022, so to mark the day and help smokers who want to quit, Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) is offering FREE electronic cigarette starter kits to adults over 18 who have previously tried to quit unsuccessfully and are ready to sign up for support to try again.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen an influx of people requesting stop smoking support from HCC, with over 4300 getting help since April 2020 and over half of them quitting for good.

38-year-old Stevenage resident, Luke French, came forward for support from HCC’s Health Improvement service in 2020, after more than 20 years as a smoker.

38-year-old Stevenage resident, Luke French

“My mum died in December 2019 from COPD,” he explained, “and after that the kids were really scared about my smoking, saying ‘daddy, you’re going to die like nanny.’

“Then COVID-19 happened, and that’s also a respiratory disease, so I phoned the doctor and she referred me for support.”

With help, Luke managed to reduce his smoking, however he was still struggling to set a ‘stop day’ so his stop smoking adviser suggested he try e-cigarettes.

“With the vape I found it really easy,” he said, “I haven’t craved for a cigarette since and am reducing the strength of the nicotine gradually. I wish I had used it years ago.”

Within two days of stopping smoking, Luke felt better, with clearer lungs and more energy. “I feel more positive, and my kids are happier too, they no longer worry about me dying from smoking,” he said.

“To all those who are thinking about stopping smoking or are struggling to quit, I’d say get a vape straight away.”

Over 100,000 adults in Hertfordshire smoke and it remains the largest cause of chronic disease in Hertfordshire, killing over 1,400 people in the county every year.

Hertfordshire’s Executive Member for Public Health and Community Safety, Morris Bright MBE, said: “We want to empower Hertfordshire residents to live healthy lifestyles and give them the opportunity to live life well.

 

“E-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to health than tobacco and have the potential to help smokers quit smoking. By adding the starter kits to the other quit methods available through our Stop Smoking Service, we will be giving those residents wanting to quit smoking the best support possible.

“With our support to stop smoking, you’re up to three times more likely to succeed. We would say to anyone thinking of quitting this No Smoking Day ‘don’t give up on giving up’ – every time you try you are a step closer to success.”

 

Hertfordshire residents who would like support to quit smoking can contact Hertfordshire Health Improvement Service for more information:

Phone: 0800 389 3 998 or 01442 453 071

Text: SMOKEFREE to 80818

Email: [email protected].

Find out more about stop smoking services in Hertfordshire at: www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/smoking

Further information on using e-cigarettes to stop smoking is available from www.nhs.uk/live-well/quit-smoking.

Additional information

An expert independent evidence review published by Public Health England (PHE) concludes that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to health than tobacco and have the potential to help smokers quit smoking. It is essential to monitor evidence on e-cigarettes as it emerges. The most comprehensive of e-cigarette reviews commissioned by PHE is due for publication later this year and includes data on patterns of use among adults and youth and 9 systematic reviews on the potential risks from vaping.

* Criteria for inclusion in the HCC free starter kit scheme:

  • Individuals over 18 years
  • Smokers with the motivation to quit smoking and have confirmed the use of other pharmacotherapy in previous quit attempts

Criteria for exclusion from the HCC free starter kit scheme:

  • Individuals under 18 years
  • Non-smokers
  • Individuals currently using NRT, bupropion or varenicline from another source
  • Current vapers who have already independently accessed e-cigarettes

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