Ladywell Unit at Lewisham Hospital unit will receive 100 free Hexa starter kits from VPZ to help people with mental health problems stop smoking. The UK’s largest mental health facility has joined forces with the UK’s largest vaping retailer to transform the health and wellbeing of patients.
The UK’s leading vaping retailer has plans to roll-out the scheme throughout the UK.
Around two thirds of all the tobacco consumed in the UK is by people with mental health problems, with 62% of people who suffer from psychosis identified as smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day.
The new starter kits will be supplied by the local VPZ in Lewisham and have been specially selected to help the patients make the switch to vaping more easily.
The patients will also be able to visit the local VPZ in Lewisham to meet staff, learn more about the health benefits of vaping and get a product that fully meets their needs.
Mary Yates, Nurse Consultant, Health Promotion & Wellbeing, said: “Smoking traps vulnerable people in poverty because it is so expensive. This collaboration with VPZ has the potential to transform the lives of our patients, taking them off cigarettes, giving them more money and transforming their health. We are taking a very holistic approach where smoking is tackled along with mental health issues with the ultimate objective of improving our patients’ overall wellbeing.”
Ese Osarhumwese, Tobacco Dependence Advisor in Ladywell Unit commented: “Quitting smoking is a tough battle and we believe this new scheme can help vulnerable people live a cigarette free life. Accessing stop smoking services isn’t always an easy process, particularly for some of the patients with mental health issues that come through our services. Having simple processes to access services with great products and advice will provide more options to our patients and will be key to success of this pioneering project.”
VPZ’s Doug Mutter added: “This partnership is truly progressive and represents a huge step forward for the vaping industry and the NHS working together to help stamp out cigarettes once and for all. Our reputation for leading the industry and a commitment to educating our customers has been instrumental in forging this collaboration with the NHS.”
“Quitting smoking can be a challenge for any long-term smoker but mental health patients face an even tougher battle with their abilities to access services reduced considerably. We are now looking forward to working in partnership with the team at Ladywell Unit at Lewisham Hospital to help patients make the switch to vaping and take the first steps to living a better life.”
“We will also work closely with them to monitor the impact of the project and aim to roll-out the scheme throughout the UK as we work towards transforming the health of the nation.”
In 2017, the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust found that banning smoking in mental health settings increased the levels of patients committing physical violence – something that was reduced with the introduction of vaping but not by using traditional NRT products [link].
- “VPZ Supports UKVIA Campaign”, POTV – [link]