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Peterborough Vape Trial Delayed

Peterborough Councillors have voted to put a positive trial on hold that would have seen vape kits given out to smokers as part of a one-year trial to improve smoking quit rates

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Peterborough Councillors have voted to put a positive trial on hold that would have seen vape kits given out to smokers as part of a one-year trial to improve smoking quit rates. Despite research being widely available demonstrating the benefits of free vape kit activity, and the Government pledging to deliver kits to one million smokers, the regional politicians say they need to see further evidence that proves a link between switching to vaping and quitting smoking.

All signs were positive in early July when a one-year pilot program for Peterborough was announced. The local smoking cessation service proposed to use free vape kits to see if it accelerated quit rates in the region.

Then the report dropped.

Peterborough City Council reported that vapes were only “probably” less harmful than smoking despite acknowledging there is “robust short- and medium-term evidence” of reduced harm.

The report went on to add that vapes “contain toxins and carcinogens”.

The report noted that the Fenland suffers from “very high rates of smoking” alongside “high numbers of homeless in Cambridge City and Peterborough”.

While national smoking levels have dropped to a record low of 13%, the Fenland region’s 29% is the highest in the country – costing Peterborough an estimated £72.5 million and Cambridgeshire £183.5 million per annum.

With the need smacking them in the face and the solution proven by experts, the City Council health scrutiny committee defied all logic by voting to delay adopting the progressive move.

Councillor Shabina Qayyum told the committee: “We don’t have staunch evidence trying to back up health outcomes and it has been stipulated that there are carcinogenic ingredients within vapes themselves, so it’s a matter of concern to me.”

Another Councillor tried to inject some sense into the meeting: “There are concerns that we don’t fully understand vapes, but we do know that they don’t have all the carcinogenic products in them that cigarettes have. There is that unnecessary intake of nicotine, but it does seem to help people stop smoking.”

A further Councillor added: “I’ve been quite anti-introducing e-cigarettes into our service and the team have had to work really hard to get me on side. I’ve been convinced by the evidence that they are actually more effective at quitting than other pharmacological options and that the risks are preferable to smoking.”

Despite the voices of reason, Labour and Green representatives won the day and voted to perpetuate Fenlands awful record on smoking cessation.

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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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