The Mercury is actively seeking stories from vapers and ex-vapers that have successfully used electronic cigarettes to quit smoking. It is also working with the city council to encourage smokers to quit.
The first to get in touch with them was Jane Laurenti, a 64-year-old mother who took her first drag at 15. “I have tried to lots of times. I have had acupuncture, hypnosis, patches, nicotine replacement gum and going cold turkey – none of them have worked,” she explained. “I have coughed for years but two days after my last cigarette I stopped coughing.”
"I joined the e-cigarette trial, when you are either given an e-cigarette or a patch and I was given the e-cigarette. I can't believe how easy it has been. Within a fortnight, I am on zero nicotine with the e-cig and I can sit outside with friends who smoke without missing it and I will never have another cigarette. I also can't believe how much money I have saved – it's about £700 so far. I am going to wait until February 12 next year and plan a holiday with the money."
The only regret Jane has about using vaping to quit is that she didn’t try it sooner. “I am a non-smoker and so chuffed,” she added. “The Stop Smoking service has also been supportive and encouraging. People shouldn't be afraid to try and give up.”
The Stop Smoking service is the one run by Louise Ross, who said: “We welcome people who want to use an e-cigarette to stop smoking and we can add extra help which will make the quit attempt a success. An e-cigarette user is not a smoker – they are vapers – and if smokers switched, it would lead to significant health gains in Leicester.”
Louise continued: “E-cigs are estimated to be at least 95 per cent safer than smoking tobacco and there is no evidence to suggest they are encouraging people to go back to smoking. Latest figures also show there is no evidence to suggest young people who have never smoked are taking up regular use of e-cigs. More than 99 per cent of young people using them are, or were, smokers."
If you live in Leicestershire and are willing to share your quit story with Mercury readers call 0116 222 4261 or e-mail the newsdesk at patients@ leicestermercury.co.uk.