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Free Vapes For Pregnant Women

Free starter kits are being given away to pregnant smokers in Lambeth in order to improve levels of health and combat poverty exacerbated by spending on cigarettes

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Free starter kits are being given away to pregnant smokers in Lambeth in order to improve levels of health and combat poverty exacerbated by spending on cigarettes. Councillors in the South London borough have acted to improve the lives of families and save them money. They believe the free kits will stop women wanting to buy cigarettes because they can quit and remain successfully smoke free. Experts say families will end up around £2000 better off.

The council’s explained that more than 3000 homes currently fall under the poverty line. With most of them being home to children, he explained that by substituting smoking for vaping, the council believes that giving out free ecig starter kits will offer a dual benefit of removing the poisons associated with smoking from those homes and, by encouraging the mothers to quit, will save them money due to vapes costing far less than packets of cigarettes.

Councillor Kind, Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, says that the free ecig starter kits being given out to pregnant women will help families to save around “£2k per year per family”, which will be useful during the cost-of-living crisis and boost the local economy.

He said: “It is estimated that over 3,000 households in Lambeth fall under the poverty line due to smoking, and many of these households include children,” adding that the new scheme will improve “the health of the family and saving money.”

Lambeth’s new initiative has been triggered following news from the Office of National Statistics that a record 4.3 million smokers have now switched to vaping,  pushing the national smoking rate to a record low of 13%.

The UK government has previously pledged to achieve a smoke free status by 2030 – although more on that in a different article on POTV this week.

The NHS states: “Little research has been conducted into the safety of e-cigarettes and e-liquids in pregnancy. It is not known whether the vapour is harmful to a baby in pregnancy.

“If you're pregnant, licensed NRT products such as patches and gum are the recommended option to help you stop smoking.

“But if you find using an e-cigarette helpful for quitting and staying smoke-free, it's much safer for you and your baby than continuing to smoke.”

The NHS has taken this position as a result of the publication of the eighth and final report in the series “Nicotine vaping in England: an evidence update including health risks and perceptions, 2022”, published by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities.

Queen Mary University of London stated in a recent study: “While many women stop smoking when they become pregnant, some find it difficult to stop, particularly those from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.”

Professor Peter Hajek commented: “E-cigarettes can help smokers quit and are as safe as nicotine patches. Many stop smoking services are already using e-cigarettes as an option for smokers generally. Such use can now be adopted in stop-smoking services for pregnant women as well.”

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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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