It seems as though the wait is finally over for the health benefits of vaping to be properly recognised by the medical field.
Two vape shops have opened in West Bromwich’s Sandwell Hospital and City Hospital Birmingham in correlation with a newly-implemented smoke-free policy adopted by both hospitals. The incentive permits vaping on the hospital grounds but completely bans cigarette smoking, with a fine issued to anyone found smoking inside or in the vicinity of the hospital.
This monumental progression has been backed by the UK Vaping Association, who released a statement describing the opening of the stores as “a major step forward for the industry” which “aligns with the government’s goal for a smoke-free Britain by 2030”.
Of course, we couldn’t agree more with this stance. It’s high time that e-cigarettes are acknowledged as an effective stop-smoking aid – one which is significantly less harmful than smoking and one which provides the opportunity to safely and gradually wean yourself off nicotine entirely.
Following the implementation of the vape stores at both hospitals, NHS Trust CEO Toby Lewis has reiterated the advice given by Public Health England that vaping is in fact 95 per cent less harmful than smoking and is therefore a much safer option than cigarettes. Lewis stresses that the intention of the new stores is not to encourage non-smokers to take up vaping, but to simply give staff and patients the best chance of quitting cigarettes.
Although the new incentive brings with it a £50 fine for smoking in or around the premises of the hospital, Lewis insists that "this isn't about making money. This is about getting people to quit smoking."
And it appears Lewis really stands by that sentiment. The on-the-spot fine is counterbalanced perfectly by a 30 per cent discount for NHS staff for nicotine replacement therapies and vaping supplies, giving them the best possible chance of success when quitting.
We’re confident that this victory for vaping is the first of many and signals the beginning of a universal change in attitudes towards smoking cessation. After all, the most effective aid is right here just waiting to set you free from the shackles of smoking.