IBVTA responds to Government’s new world first “swap to stop” scheme to be announced by Public Health Minister
The IBVTA is delighted by news of the forthcoming announcement by Public Health Minister Neil O’Brien of a commitment to a “Swap to Stop” programme to help smokers quit. The scheme will aim to support 1 million UK smokers to switch completely to vaping.
IBVTA members are already familiar with supporting smokers to switch to a safer alternative. They also find that as well as immediate health improvements, many vapers then go on to give up nicotine completely in time. However the most important thing to remember is that while nicotine is one of the more addictive aspects of smoking, the harm from cigarettes comes from other toxins that are either absent, or at comparatively very low levels in e-cigarette vapour. Vaping is very much safer than smoking.
The UK’s largest “Swap to Stop” pilot programme to date was run in Salford in 2018, and was a huge success. Over 60% of participants that stayed with the programme were smoke-free after 4 weeks. The proportion of smokers that were willing to try quitting with vaping was record-breaking at the time. A leading IBVTA member provided guidance, training, and products to support over 1000 smokers in Salford’s “Swap to Stop” programme.
The IBVTA also applauds the upcoming announcement of a crackdown on illegal products and illicit sales. We are particularly concerned that products that are not subject to proper market surveillance are the ones being sold through poorly disciplined, illicit, or “informal” supply chains. Worse than just being unfair competition for responsible businesses, sales of these products threaten the legitimate vape sector’s reputation, as well as contributing to youth uptake of age restricted products. The IBVTA will of course support the new “illicit vapes enforcement squad” in all ways that we can.
IBVTA Chief Executive Officer, Gillian Golden, said, “The IBVTA is delighted with news that the UK Government not only recognises vaping as a safe and effective quit method, but that they are also committing to directly support smokers to quit using vapes. I am also sure that IBVTA members will be pivotal in enabling success for all the new schemes to be announced by Health Secretary Neil O’Brien today.”