UK: York Schools Launch Vaping and Smoking Campaign for Stoptober
The York Schools Survey, which surveyed over 4,000 children across 37 schools, showed that 19% of secondary school and sixth form students had used e-cigarettes.
Stoptober, is organized by National Health Service (NHS) UK and is a campaign that encourages smokers to quit cigarettes for the month of October, with the hope that this will encourage them to stop smoking for good. The campaign offers a number of suggestions to smokers wishing to quit, and highly recommends the combination of behavioral support and the use of Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRTs) including vaping products.
Meanwhile as part of the yearly event, York schools have launched a campaign with the aim of tackling vaping and smoking among young people in the region. New data has shown that nearly one in five secondary school pupils in the city have used e-cigarettes. To this effect, free patches, gum and other NRTs are being offered to anyone aged 12 to 17 wishing to quit smoking or vaping.
Deputy head teacher at Archbishop Holgate’s School, Daniel Furniss, said that the ease with which students are able to obtain the products is concerning. “I know that many schools, including ours, are educating pupils on the dangers of vaping and smoking, however, the ease of buying e-cigs is not helping the issue, nor is the pretty way in which they are packaged. We urge pupils across the city to take up this free support and for parents and carers to talk to their children, to help raise awareness about the health risks and dangers.”
Stoptober endorses vaping for smoking cessation
Meanwhile in recent years, e-cigarettes have been amongst the suggested replacement therapies for adults by Stoptober. Infact they have been the most commonly used smoking cessation tool, and data collected via several smoking surveys indicates that the products are smokers’ preferred smoking cessation aides, as they mimic the action of smoking, making the transition from smoking to not smoking an easier one.
Moreover, a guidance published last year by The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), stated that any approved vaping products, will be made available for doctors to prescribe. “This country continues to be a global leader on healthcare, whether it’s our Covid-19 vaccine rollout or our innovative public health measures reducing people’s risk of serious illness,” said Health Secretary Sajid Javid at the time.
The fact that the NHS will now be able to prescribe vaping products to smokers wishing to quit, once again places England as a leader of the tobacco harm reduction movement. Javid believes that it is a “moral outrage” that England’s richest people are living significantly longer than their poorer counterparts due to access to harm reduction products.
To this effect he plans to announce further measures that address the root causes of such disparities and it is believed that these include a “vaping revolution” that facilitates vape prescriptions by GP’s. “The vaping revolution is in full swing, but we need to ensure adult ex-smokers are the revolutionaries. This latest survey out of the UK shows they overwhelmingly are, but as always, there’s still some work to do at the edges,” concluded Loucas.