Sheffield to promote vaping as a ‘healthier alternative’ to smoking

Sheffield City Council have proposed a tobacco control strategy, which aims to reduce the amount of smokers around the city by promoting the use of vaping. 

It is estimated that currently one-in-five adults in Sheffield are smokers, and tobacco kills approximately 16 people every week in Sheffield.

The council have set ambitious targets for 2025, with a view that by then Sheffield will have seen a 10% reduction in the amount of smokers in the city.
The proposal also focuses on helping young people resist taking up the habit and hope to see a 4% decrease in the amount of young people smoking by 2025.

This includes more prevention work in all secondary schools to stop young people smoking.

Councillor Mary Lea said: “We have to consider the multiple health problems due to smoking which shortens people’s lives.”

Part of the strategy includes the beginning of the Government ‘Ask. Advise. Act’ model – which consists of establishing and recording smoking status (ask), advising on the personal benefits of quitting (advise) and offering help (act).

During regular health check-ups, people in Sheffield will be asked if they smoke, and then advised on the heath and financial implications of smoking and finally referred to the appropriate ‘stop smoking support’ for them if necessary.

There will be two levels of ‘stop smoking support’ in place in Sheffield.

The universal service will provide weekly groups across the city, and service users will have full access to group support and guidance.

The ‘Priority Quits’ service is the second support system which will offer intensive and sustained guidance and will offer fully funded stop smoking medications and individual one on one support as well as offering group support.

Individuals who are not willing or are unable to quit smoking will then be advised to swap to vaping as a healthier alternative.

Amanda Sandford of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) said: “Vaping is considerably safer than smoking and research shows that the vast majority of users of e-cigarettes are smokers or ex-smokers who use them to cut down or quit smoking. We endorse Sheffield council’s position of recognizing he role that vaping can play in helping people to become smoke-free.”

Public spaces will increasingly become smoke-free in order to denormalise smoking.

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