A world first ‘Swap to Stop’ scheme aims to encourage Lincolnshire’s smokers to swap cigarettes for vapes.
An ONS report revealed that Lincolnshire had the third highest smoking rate in the England at 24.8%, comparing to the national average of 13.9%.
The new scheme will invite one in five of the county’s smokers to swap as part of plans to wean people off cigarettes and on to less harmful vape products.
One You Lincolnshire provides free health and wellbeing programmes and last year supported 2,469 Lincolnshire residents to quit smoking successfully.
Smoking Cessation Lead, Theresa Shortland, believes the scheme is a great idea: “It is great that the Government is promoting the importance for quitting smoking and raising awareness for different ways to quit.
“Vaping is regarded as 95% less harmful than smoking and in recent years has become on of the most popular ways to quit smoking.”
Nathan Bayes, manager at Phoenix Vapers ltd, Lincoln, believes the scheme could be a promising step, but has concerns.
“I think that the scheme is a good idea, obviously to help people quit smoking but there is still a worry with the rise of vaping amongst younger people, and this could encourage it further.
“There’s also a worry of pregnant women being given these vapes, without knowing what liquid is in these vapes.”
Pregnant women will also be offered £400 to give up smoking as part of the scheme and the date of the vaping kits being given out is yet to be confirmed.