Swiss Success

Posted 4th January 2019 by Dave Cross
Helvetic Vape has celebrated the decision by a quit-smoking help service in Switzerland to integrate vaping into its support program. Swiss smokers can now, with the support of SuchtHilfe in Olten, access free vape products to help them beat their addiction and reduce their chance of tobacco-related harm.

Helvetic Vape was formed in 2013 as a non-profit advocacy association for vapers, with the goal of promoting and defending vaping in Switzerland. Inspired by the millions around the world who have been able to stop smoking by switching to vaping, the organisation believes it offers “a fantastic opportunity for public health.”

The organisation has always striven to work with Swiss administrations, organizations and associations to help them improve their understanding of vaping. It recently announced with delight that SuchtHilfe was allowing smokers to register for a free consultation. Thanks to training provided by Helvetic Vape, the gift of free vaping products has been integrated into the program.

Phil Scheck, a member of Helvetic Vape and an experienced vaper, provided the training. He delivered a series of specialised courses on the harm reduction and how vaping is an integral part of that. He was also consulted on the development of the program and the choice of equipment available. He will support the centre's advisors by providing advice and information during the operation.

The organisation also assisted in producing a guide for smokers that is available for free to order or downloadable from the website.

Helvetica Vape told Planet of the Vapes: “In partnership with a Swiss company, four vaping devices and liquids in five flavours and three different nicotine levels will be available according to the needs identified from the consultation. Participants will be supported by the centre’s professionals, and scientific monitoring will be carried out in order to evaluate the program.”

“This initiative is the first low-threshold quit smoking support program to include vaping in Switzerland. It complies with the National Addiction Strategy 2017-2024, which makes harm reduction a pillar of the approach to smoking. The old policy based solely on abstinence and drugs has shown its inefficiency by keeping the smoking rate at over 27% for 10 years in Switzerland, according to the recent Swiss Health Survey.”

“After nine years of prohibition without legal basis on the part of the federal administration of the sale of nicotine liquids, its repeal by the Federal Administrative Court on April 30th opens the door to an effective help for smokers wishing to stop smoking.”

“Vaping is a way of consuming nicotine without most of the toxins produced by burning cigarettes, including carbon monoxide and tars. High-quality scientific reports from Public Health England (2018) and the Royal College of Physicians UK (2016) estimate at least 95% harm reduction of vaping over cigarettes.”

“Helvetic Vape is delighted by the initiative of SuchtHilfe Ost to offer practical, tailored and effective help to smokers who want to quit smoking. We are particularly proud to participate by bringing our specific expertise to this program. The therapeutic alliance of health professionals and the public with vaping in the face of smoking is a promising step, and offers the hope of reducing the health, social and economic burden of smoking on the population in Switzerland with a harm-reduction approach.”

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 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker