The Guernsey stop smoking service Quitline has announced it will offer a free vape device to help smokers finally break the habit.
The free vape starter kit is offered by Quitline to smokers over the age of 18 either with or as a replacement for nicotine replacement therapy treatments such as patches or gum, as part of a package of treatments, equipment, advice and support.
This follows a trial throughout the United Kingdom that found that when the NHS acted as a vape supplier and provided smokers with a vaping starter kit, they were less likely to continue smoking, and vaping had far fewer health risks compared to smoking.
The study, undertaken by the University of East Anglia, found that after providing the free vape starter kit, 42 per cent of the people who participated had quit smoking within four weeks, and a further 15 per cent had quit within 12 weeks, highlighting the potential for the devices.
This new initiative in Guernsey is part of an initiative to bring the smoking laws in the States of Guernsey in line with the rest of the United Kingdom.
In August 2022, Guernsey banned branded cigarette packaging, requiring all tobacco products to be sold in plain packaging with the requisite health warnings, following the successful campaign in the UK that helped to reduce the appeal of smoking to young people.
This came into force nine years after the UK government’s independent review of cigarette packaging, seven years after the vote that made it law, and five years after it became a requirement.
According to studies and reviews, plain packaging laws in a range of different countries emphasised the health warnings, reduced confusion surrounding them, made them less attractive to buy and led to smokers hiding the packet, smoking less around others and generally reducing consumption.
This, alongside vapes, has helped to reduce the demand for cigarettes whilst providing an alternative to long-term smokers to help them quit for good.