UK Health Minister Neil O’Brien will present a new action plan to tackle smoking in Britain: authorities will provide vape starter kits and behavioral support to smokers. Additionally, pregnant women will be helped financially to stop smoking
The fight against smoking in Britain has definitely taken a new course: earlier today, the Health Minister Neil O’Brien presented the draft of a national plan to fight smoking in the country. First of its kind, the “swap to stop” national scheme will encourage smokers to quit completely thanks to vaping. According to the official estimates, almost one million British smokers will receive a vape starter kit and behavioral consulting. The goal is to reach a smoke-free Britain by 2030.
UK is a leading country in smoking cessation field: the widespread adoption of combustion-free devices in the country and the work of healthcare professionals and doctors who are encouraged to promote harm reduction strategies, helped reducing smoking prevalence in England to 13% (2021).
The “swap to stop scheme” will also include financial support to pregnant women to stop smoking. The plan is also introducing mandatory cigarette pack inserts with positive message and information to quit.
“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” UK Health Minister O’Brien declared.
Riccardo Polosa, Founder of the CoEHAR, expressed full support to the initiative:
“I applaud the new British initiative: we will follow up on the details but it is already clear that this is a revolutionary change that we hope will be followed by many other countries. It is a concrete and rational action of health policy. Not only the initiative will help millions of smokers to give up smoking permanently, but it will provide the UK government with unprecedented savings in terms of health care costs“. In fact, according to government estimates, an epochal result is expected: “The economic support is certainly an important incentive to try switching to less harmful products but the guarantee offered by the British government is mainly the specialist assistance along the difficult pathway of the smoking cessation. The new British policies will achieve the goals desired by all governments: to help adults quit smoking and to prevent children and non-smokers from starting to vape” – explained Polosa.
Part of the initiative will be also a dedicated plan to stop children and non smokers from taking up vaping and explore where government can go further.