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Vapekit Survey Reveals Lack of Quit Support

A survey conducted by leading ecig retailer Vapekit has discovered a shocking disparity in stop smoking services across England

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A survey conducted by leading e-cig retailer Vapekit has discovered a shocking disparity in stop smoking services across England. The findings show Northern parts of England are among the worst places in the UK for smokers to get dedicated local quitting support – potentially derailing the government’s 2030 target for a smoke-free Britain.

Vapekit’s survey, “The Best and Worst Places in England to Stop Smoking”, has discovered that that nearly half a million adult smokers in England have no access to local stop smoking support at all.

The comprehensive study reveals the English cities with the highest number of adult smokers had some of the lowest levels of dedicated local stop smoking support, according to a comprehensive study by online retailer Vapekit. Using 2021 data on smoking rates from every Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – responsible for allocating NHS services – in England, Vapekit benchmarked the data against the number of locally commissioned stop smoking support services in each area.

Ealing, Wolverhampton, Bolton, and North Tyneside are among 12 CCG areas that don't have any locally commissioned stop smoking support services.

Javed Khan’s recent independent review looking at the success of current strategies to reduce smoking made four key recommendations that he deemed “critical”:

  • Urgently invest £125 million per year in a comprehensive smoke-free 2030 programme”
  • “Increase the age of sale (from 18) by one year, every year”
  • “Offer vaping as a substitute for smoking, alongside accurate information on the benefits of switching, including to healthcare professionals”
  • “For the NHS to prioritise further action to stop people from smoking

Khan urged the government “to seize this moment” and “commit to making smoking obsolete” – but it’s difficult to see how at the moment given that it has descended into a complete mess currently.

The need for the government to get its act together swiftly is accentuated by Vapekit’s discoveries.

The research revealed that England’s 10 best areas for local stop smoking support (based on the number of services) have 17 services for a combined total of 286,747 smokers. By contrast, the country's 10 worst areas have no stop smoking services for 454,906 smokers.

Vapekit says: “Some of the worst places to get stop smoking help include England's major cities. Birmingham city region doesn't have any locally commissioned stop smoking support service, while the Birmingham and Solihull region has only one, for 173,743 smokers; Leeds, one such service, for 128,874 smokers; and Liverpool has one, for 90,321 smokers. This compares to two services each in Central and West London, which have 68,371 smokers between them.

“Of the 10 best areas in England, eight are in the south and Midlands while only two – West Lancashire and Southport and Formby – are in the north.

“Among the best places to stop smoking, by smoking population and number of stop smoking services, are West Sussex (108,569; six) and Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire (111,704; five).”

The government is predicted to be falling well short of its ambition to achieve smoke-free status by 2030.

Vapekit says almost 11% of the British adult population, or some 6 million people, regularly smoke cigarettes, according to the independent smoking review. The number of people smoking in the UK has been falling in recent years – in part, due to NHS and other campaigns urging smokers to vape instead, pointing to research that it's "at least 95% less harmful".

Unfortunately, the government has shaved over £1 million from the stop smoking support budget since 2019, and public health experts say this needs to be urgently reversed.

Vapekit concludes: “Smoking remains the single biggest preventable cause of death in the UK, leading to the loss of around 78,000 people each year. It costs the NHS £3.6 billion in medical and social care, compared to £17 billion for society – £5 billion higher than previously estimated – as people who succumb to smoking-related diseases like cancer can no longer work.”

Full details of Vapekit’s research can be found at the link below.


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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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