Working together as part of the Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, the NHS Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board and Yorkshire Cancer Research are encouraging anyone who smokes to reduce their risk of cancer by swapping cigarettes for a vape this September.
As part of the NHS’s new ‘Swaptember’ campaign, the two organisations are aiming to raise awareness of vaping as a significantly less harmful and highly effective alternative to tobacco smoking.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable cancer in the region and is responsible for over 4500 new cases of cancer in Yorkshire each year. Cigarette smoke contains thousands of chemicals, of which at least 70 are known to cause cancer.
According to the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, vaping poses a small fraction of the risks of smoking. Despite this, four out of 10 people who smoke wrongly believe vaping is as or riskier than smoking.
Dave Jones, Tobacco Programme Manager for Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board, said: “There is a lot of confusion about vaping, but when it is used as a tool to stop smoking tobacco, it is highly effective and has great success rates. The NHS fully supports people who choose to use them.
“We would urge anyone who smokes and is finding it difficult to stop to swap to a vape, as the harm to health is reduced immediately.”
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) recently reported that nearly three in 10 (27%) smokers have never tried vaping even though it’s a very effective quitting aid. That is the equivalent of 131,215 smokers in Yorkshire.
Dr Stuart Griffiths, Director of Research at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “Up to 2 in 3 long-term smokers will die from smoking if they don’t quit, however it’s never too late to stop smoking.
“Stopping at any age can lengthen and improve quality of life, even for those with a smoking-related illness. We urge people to seek support to quit smoking and consider using vaping to help them quit.”
For people who are keen to take the first steps to a healthier future by swapping cigarettes for a less harmful form of nicotine this Swaptember, many local stop smoking services offer a supported vaping option alongside other nicotine replacement therapy options, or pop into a pharmacy or vape shop. More information can be found online at www.swaptember.co.uk.
Vapes are not recommended for people under the age of 18 or for those who do not already smoke.