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UKVIA Partners Homeless Project

The UK Vaping Industry Association has partnered with Ipswich Night Shelter to offer support to the homeless to help them quit smoking

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The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) has joined forces with the Ipswich Night Shelter, a project run by the Selig (Suffolk) Trust (a registered charity providing services and support for those who become homeless), to support people staying across the winter months to switch to a less harmful alternative to combustible cigarettes.

The Ipswich Winter Night Shelter operates across the winter, from November through March, and provides a number of en-suite bedrooms in their purpose-adapted premises for people from Ipswich who have found themselves homeless. Last year, they had 20 guests stay with them across the winter, and they hope to accommodate more this winter.

The shelter has allocated a vaping room for their guests to vape when they want to throughout the day and night, and approached the UKVIA to seek donations from its members in providing vaping devices and e-liquids.

UKVIA members Oxford Vapours, Riot Labs, and V2 Cigs UK have provided hundreds of devices, e-liquids, refillable pods and nicotine salts to the Ipswich Night Shelter, in support of their guests making the transition to a less harmful alternative.

Residents are already seeing the benefits. One is quoted as saying, “I am really grateful for the opportunity to try an alternative. It is effective, easy to use and tastes good too!”

Evidence so far indicates that e-cigarettes are far less harmful than smoking as they don’t contain tobacco or involve combustion and using a vaping product as part of a quit attempt in local stop smoking services had some of the highest quit success rates – between 59.7% and 74% in 2019 and 2020.

John Dunne, Director-General of the UKVIA, said: “We know how important it is to ensure everyone has access to alternative nicotine products, which is why we were delighted to support the Night Shelter.

“The evidence tells us the effectiveness of vaping in reducing harms associated with smoking and how they support people wishing to quit cigarettes for good.

“The UKVIA recognises its role in this national effort and will continue to support homeless charities across the UK and the residents they provide shelter to.”

Clare Jessup, Housing Manager at the Selig (Suffolk) Trust, added: “The vast majority of our guests at the night shelter smoke, however there are limitations for when our guests can go outside for a cigarette.

“We have created a vaping room inside our building and thanks to the kind donations we have received from the members of the UKVA, we have been able to offer each of our guests full vaping kits to allow them to vape overnight.

“I have seen first-hand how vaping can calm an anxious person or that just knowing they could vape in the middle of the night allows a person to sleep soundly.

“Thank you from all of the staff, volunteers and guests of the night shelter for your wonderful donations.”

Paul Hunt, Managing Director of V2 Cigs, said: “Homeless people experience many inequalities that affect both their physical and mental health, and they often smoke more cigarettes per day than the average smoker. V2 Cigs are pleased to be able to support the Ipswich Night Shelter with their efforts to reduce smoking.”

Ben Johnson, Riot Squad Founder, said: “Harm reduction from smoking should touch all parts of society, and we’re committed to helping people quit smoking no matter their circumstances. Ipswich Night Shelter do amazing work supporting those less fortunate and as a UKVIA member we’re proud to be able to offer our support to their residents.”

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Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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