Health officials and cancer research organizations in Yorkshire, United Kingdom are strongly encouraging individuals who currently smoke traditional cigarettes to reduce their risk of developing cancer and improve overall health by swapping to vaping devices this September.
The effort is part of the National Health Service (NHS) Stoptober initiative’s new Swaptember campaign. The Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership has collaborated with Yorkshire Cancer Research on a regional basis to raise awareness of vaping as a significantly less harmful yet highly effective alternative to continuing tobacco smoking.
Smoking combustible cigarettes remains the single leading preventable cause of cancer in the Yorkshire region. According to Cancer Research UK, smoking is responsible for over 4,500 new cases of cancer diagnosed annually in Yorkshire. Cigarette smoke contains a toxic mixture of over 7,000 chemical compounds, at least 70 of which are definitively known to cause cancer.
Quitting smoking, preferably through a combination of behavioral support and safer nicotine replacements like vaping, can dramatically reduce the risks of developing cancer and other smoking-related diseases. However, public health groups acknowledge there is still widespread confusion and misunderstanding around vaping. Surveys show 4 out of 10 people who smoke traditional cigarettes wrongly believe using modern regulated vaping products is equally or even more risky than smoking.
“There is a lot of misinformation and confusion about vaping, but when it is used as a tool to completely stop smoking combustible tobacco, it is highly effective with great success rates in clinical trials. The NHS fully supports adult smokers who choose to swap cigarettes for a vaping device,” said Dave Jones, Tobacco Programme Manager for the Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board.
Jones continued: “We strongly urge any smokers who have struggled to quit through willpower alone or other methods to make the switch this September, as the level of harm to your body is reduced immediately when transitioning from inhaling toxic cigarette smoke to vapor.”
Recent survey data from the advocacy group Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) reveals nearly 3 in 10 adult smokers have never even attempted vaping, which equates to approximately 131,215 smokers just in Yorkshire. This presents a major opportunity to further spread awareness.
“While it is always best never to start smoking at all, it is never too late for current smokers to stop. Quitting can substantially lengthen life expectancy and improve overall quality of life, even for those already suffering from a smoking-related health condition like emphysema. We urge seeking additional support to finally help you successfully quit cigarettes for good by making the switch to smoke-free vaping,” said Dr. Stuart Griffiths, Director of Research at Yorkshire Cancer Research.
For adult smokers who are ready to take those important first steps toward a vastly healthier future this September by fully transitioning off combustible cigarettes, many local NHS Stop Smoking services now offer a supported vaping program alongside other traditional nicotine replacement therapy options. Alternatively, smokers can visit their local pharmacy or vape shop to learn more about accessible vaping starter kits and e-liquids to aid the process.
However, health bodies caution that vaping devices and e-liquids are not recommended for individuals under age 18 who do not already smoke, or for adults who have never picked up smoking. But for the many cigarette users addicted to tobacco, vaping represents a substantially reduced harm alternative on the journey away from combustible smoking’s myriad dangers.
More information can be found online at www.swaptember.co.uk