A new government scheme will allow smokers to swap cigarettes for vapes in an effort to help them quit.
Billed as a ‘world-first’ scheme and unveiled by Health Minister Neil O’Brien, nearly one in five of all smokers in England will be offered a vape starter kit to help them stop smoking. Behavioural support and financial incentives for pregnant women will also be offered as part of the government’s plan to be smoke-free by 2030.
Announcing the measures, Health Minister Neil O’Brien said: “Up to two out of three lifelong smokers will die from smoking. Cigarettes are the only product on sale which will kill you if used correctly.
“We will offer a million smokers new help to quit. We will be funding a new national ‘swap to stop’ scheme – the first of its kind in the world. We will work with councils and others to offer a million smokers across England a free vaping starter kit.”
It hopes the moves will help meet its ambition of England being “smoke-free” by 2030 – with smoking rates reduced to 5% or less.
More than five million people in England smoke tobacco, which remains the single biggest cause of preventable illness and death. According to latest data, up to two out of three lifelong smokers will die from smoking and one in four deaths from all cancers are estimated to be from smoking.
Alarmingly perceptions of the harm caused by vaping compared with smoking are increasingly out of line with the evidence.
An STS survey found that:
- 29% of current smokers believed vaping was less harmful than smoking
- 38% believed vaping was as harmful as smoking
- 18% did not know whether vaping or smoking was more harmful
- 15% of smokers believed vaping was more harmful than smoking
With the government pushing for a smoke-free England by 2030 it is welcome news that they recognise vaping as a much safer alternative to smoking and the most successful way to quit smoking and stay smoke-free. Despite the fear mongering surrounding vaping studies have shown it to be at least 95% safer than cigarettes and do not cause cancer or any other smoking related illness.
It costs the UK £17 billion a year for smoking related illnesses including social care, treating smoking related cancers, COPD, Heart disease hospital care and social care.
The Million Dollar Question, what about the dangers of nicotine?
Firstly, nicotine is not your enemy as it is portrayed, in fact it has been proven it is no more harmless that caffeine.
Harmful Chemicals in Tobacco Products
All types of tobacco products contain chemicals that can be harmful to your health.
Cigarettes, cigars, and pipe tobacco are made from dried tobacco leaves. Other substances are often added for flavour and to make smoking more pleasant. The smoke from these products is a complex mixture of chemicals produced by burning tobacco and its additives.
Tobacco smoke is made up of thousands of chemicals, including at least 70 known to cause cancer. These cancer-causing chemicals are referred to as carcinogens. Some of the chemicals found in tobacco smoke include:
- Nicotine (the addictive drug that produces the effects in the brain that people are looking for)
- Hydrogen cyanide
*Radioactive elements, such as polonium
* Carbon monoxide
* Tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs)
* Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
Many of these substances cause cancer. Some can cause heart disease, lung disease, or other serious health problems, too. Most of the substances come from the burning tobacco leaves themselves, not from additives included in cigarettes (or other tobacco products).
Radioactive materials in tobacco smoke
Radioactive materials are in the tobacco leaves used to make cigarettes and cigars. These materials come from the fertilizer and soil used to grow the tobacco leaves, so the amount in tobacco depends on the soil the plants were grown in and the type of fertilizers used. These radioactive materials are given off in the smoke when tobacco is burned, which people who smoke take into their lungs as they inhale. This may be another key factor in people who smoke getting lung cancer.
What ingredients in cigarettes cause cancer?
At least 70 of the chemicals found in tobacco smoke cause cancer. Many of these cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke have other surprising uses.
What ingredients are in vape juice?
Propylene Glycol (PG)
PG Used in inhalers
Propylene Glycol is an organic compound that is a clear liquid without a distinctive smell. It is the part that carries most of the flavour of an e Liquid, not producing as much vapour.
It is recognised by the American Food and Drug Administration as safe for use as a preservative in foods. It is also used in healthcare and beauty products such as skin wash, shampoo and toothpaste.
It has been recognised by the UK medical community as safe to use in inhalers and for a variety of other medical health products delivered orally, intravenously and applied to the skin.
Vegetable Gylcerin (VG)
Vegetable gylcerin, also known as glycerol or glycerine, is made from plant oils. The type used in e Liquid is “food-grade” vegetable glycerin and is 99.7% pure. This is the part that produces most of the ‘cloud’ when vaping.
VG is used in cough medicine, suppositories, soap, shampoo, various foods (often as a sweetener labelled E422) especially low-fat foods, medications, beauty products, toothpaste and as a thickening agent in alcoholic liqueurs.
Nicotine does not cause cancer!
Nicotine is a naturally occurring substance found in plants. There are high levels of nicotine in aubergines (eggplant), potatoes, tomatoes and cauliflower.
It has a stimulant effect on the body like that found with the caffeine in tea, coffee and some carbonated drinks. It has been shown to promote alertness, sharpness, relaxation and calmness.
Because nicotine also reduces appetite it has begun to be used as a method to combat obesity. Medical studies have also shown that nicotine prevents the onset of Kaposi’s sarcoma, bowel ulcers, reduces the chances of preeclampsia and allergic asthma.
There is evidence that nicotine has the potential to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease and delay the onset of Parkinson’s disease.
Taking that all on-board which item do you think is the worse?
Public Health England classify it as 95% Safer Nicotine
Cancer Research UK classify if as 95% safer Nicotine
The UK Government classify it as 95% safer Nicotine
The British Heart Foundation classify it as 95% safer Nicotine.
The British Lung Foundation….guess what? Classify it as a 95% safer Nicotine
In fact studies of people diagnosed with COPD have markedly less flare-ups and many say their oxygen levels increase. I can confirm this with my own personal experience. No more coughing fits, no cough syncope and no flare-ups in 14 months where I was having around 4 per year.
The UK has often led the way in the field of science but it doesn’t take a genius to see why.
Of course big pharma want to sell you their Nicotine Replacement Therapy, all of which contains … wait for it… Nicotine and a list of chemicals! What’s more ironic is they are introducing more and more flavours.
To be fair I tried my first Tobacco flavoured vape the other day and the taste was disgusting!
I do hope the ‘Cigarettes for vapes’ is not the cheap pen style vape but I’m pretty sure it will be and definitely tobacco flavour.
Remember the are only free for a certain amount of time and once they discover the plethora of array of flavoured vapes, the preference of all ex-smokers.