News 11 April 2023

Free vapes to be handed out by government to stop people smoking

11 April 2023
vape smoking

The UK government is set to launch a groundbreaking initiative to combat smoking, by providing free vapes to up to one million smokers in England.

The scheme, called “swap to stop”, aims to encourage people to quit smoking and meet the government’s target of making the country smoke-free by 2030.

As part of the world-first scheme, one in five smokers in England will receive a vaping starter kit and behavioural support to help them quit smoking. Pregnant women will also be offered up to £400 to encourage them to stop smoking.

Health Minister Neil O’Brien said in a statement, “Smoking kills, so our priority is to prevent people smoking, and support them to quit. We remain committed to our ambition to be smoke-free by 2030.”

In addition to the “swap to stop” program, a new enforcement squad backed by £3 million of government funding will be launched to tackle illegal vaping and underage sales. The squad, led by Trading Standards, will share knowledge and intelligence across regional networks and local authorities.

A “Call for Evidence” will also be launched to identify opportunities to stop children from vaping and reduce the number of underage users, but the government plans to ensure vapes remain available as a quit aid for adult smokers.

The Health Minister said that while vaping is a preferable alternative to smoking for adults, the government is concerned about the increasing use of disposable vaping products among young people.

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