Stoptober Launches With Message: Vaping Is Key To Quitting Cigs
A MASS quit smoking attempt is underway in the UK – with experts suggesting smokers vape instead of going “cold turkey” if they want to quit for good.
Stoptober – a national campaign by Public Health England (PHE) – suggests if participants switch to e-cigarettes or other nicotine-replacement therapies – for 28 days, they are five times more likely to ditch their deadly smoking habit forever.
As the awareness month launched yesterday (October 1st), health bosses warned only four per cent of people who quit with no replacement therapy in place will be able to successfully give up smoking tobacco.
For a better chance of success, Stoptober offers participants an online guide that directs people to e-cigarette sellers in their area and a "Personal Quit Plan" to help find the right support.
Backed by the National Health Service (NHS), Stoptober – which last year helped over one million people conquer their cigarette addiction – also helps quitters through a dedicated app, daily emails, Facebook messenger and encouragement from the Stoptober online community on its Facebook page.
Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP and clinical director of Patient.info, said of the campaign: "I see many people in my surgery who want to quit smoking but far too many try without support, and they end up going back to smoking after a short period.
"Stop smoking aids and face-to-face support from local stop smoking services are proven methods of support that help many thousands of people to quit each year."
British TV personality Jeremy Kyle has also lent his voice to the campaign and is urging smokers to follow in his footsteps after he successfully quit a 35-year cigarette habit after taking up vaping.
He told Britain’s Press Association: “I was a 20-a-day smoker for most of my life and am proud to say I quit smoking earlier this year.
“I’ve tried many times in the past to quit but nothing really worked for me.
“This year, however, the time was right and I wanted to do it for me. With the death of my mother, having cancer myself and becoming a grandad this year, I was determined, and I’m so happy I’m now smoke-free.
“I’m not going to pretend it is easy, but I knew my time smoking was up.
“The thing that is really helping me stay smoke-free is vaping. I’m currently on the lowest nicotine strength and will then come off the e-cigarette altogether when the time is right for me.
“Since quitting I’ve learned just how important using support is and for people not to go ‘cold turkey’ – that certainly didn’t work for me in the past.
“If I can quit, I honestly believe anyone can quit if you just have the right support, and that’s what Stoptober is there to give you, and I want people to know that and to do it this year.”
Of taking up vaping to quit smoking, an NHS page on the Stoptober campaign's website, reads: "E-cigarettes, also known as vapes, are one of the more recent stop smoking aids to become available and they can help you quit smoking for good.
"An estimated 2.9 million adults in Great Britain use an e-cigarette, known as vaping. They can be particularly effective as a stop smoking aid when combined with expert face-to-face support."
It also explains that vaping is 95 per cent less harmful than cigarettes and while it contains nicotine, that, in itself. poses little danger:
It adds: "Many people think nicotine is very harmful to health. In fact, although it is addictive, nicotine is relatively harmless – it's the thousands of other chemicals in tobacco smoke that cause almost all the harm from smoking."