Last year, when faced with a top-down NHS edict to ban smoking and vaping from all premises, the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust put in place measures to make it happen. That was until Louise persuaded the Trust to carry out a pilot study on the Beaumont Ward at the Bradgate mental health unit using e-cigarettes.
According to the Leicester Mercury, this is taking the form of the installation of a vending machine being installed on the city’s Glenfield Hospital site. It reports: “Experts from Leicester City Council's Stop smoking service are working with the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, which runs the unit, to implement its first ‘smoke-free’ policy.”
“People with poor mental health smoke significantly more and are more dependent on nicotine than the population as a whole, with levels about three times those seen in the general population,” said Louise. “Stopping smoking results in improved mental health with an impact on anxiety and depressive symptoms which is at least as large as anti-depressants. When people with poor mental health stop smoking, they are often able to reduce the amount on medication they take, which relieves many of the side-effects they experience.”
She added that it was a “surprise for us was how many people wanted to stop smoking by using e-cigarettes. Although [the patients] didn't completely reject the idea of using licensed nicotine replacement therapy, they wanted to try these newer vaporisers, and it seemed only reasonable to make these available for people who showed real intention to improve their health.”
The forward-thinking initiative comes on the back of Louise participation in a study funded by Queen Mary University. Unfortunately, although they have worked closely with Louise in the past, the city’s football club doesn’t appear as supportive of vaping as they ought to be.
Newly crowned champions of the Premier League, Leicester City FC have banned one fan from the final (and historically most significant) match of the season. Season ticket holder Giorgio Del Grosso was escorted from the ground during a game against West Ham.
“They said we have seen you using your e-cigarette in the stands and we have seen you using it all season - you are leaving,” he told reporters. “I said 'no, I am not leaving'.” But leave he did, and then he received a letter informing him that he would be banned from the match against Everton when the trophy would be presented. “I acknowledge I have done wrong, but I don't think the punishment fits the crime.”
He claims his misunderstanding related to not knowing where in the stadium vaping was prohibited. He thought it only applied to the enclosed concourse areas not to the open seating section – and no mention of it is made in the regulation guide to visiting fans.
A Leicester City jobsworth commented: "Smoking and the use of e-cigarettes at King Power Stadium is strictly prohibited. Our ground regulations are clearly displayed throughout the stadium and the repeated breach of such regulations carries the risk of ejection of banning from the stadium."
The action has drawn comments on the Leicester Mercury website: “Give the dude benefit of the doubt. Don't think they should ban him for Everton game. Once in a lifetime game. Give the man a chance,” wrote boldy77.