Vapouround magazine ISSUE 21 - Page 14

NEWS NHS: NEW LONG-TERM PLAN WILL TARGET SMOKING RATE BY STAFF REPORTER The National Health Service will invest £183m in long-term plan which will tackle smoking among other leading causes of preventable illness. The NHS has unveiled a new long-term strategy which aims to curb smoking in the UK. Smoking costs the healthcare system billions annually. According to the NHS, more than half a million hospital patients who smoke, including pregnant women and their partners, will also be helped to stop for good. Under the new initiative, launched in January, the NHS will offer advice on how to quit smoking for good to every smoker admitted to hospital. This will also include patients suffering from poor mental health and those with learning disabilities. This plan, which has been met with a mixture of optimism and scepticism, is based on a similar scheme already in place in Manchester, which is expected to save £10 million and over 30,000 hospital beds across the city. An estimated 600,000 smokers will receive help to quit over the next five years as part of the plan with smoking hotspots being targeted specifically. It’s not yet clear what role e-cigarettes will play in the initiative, however the support for vaping as a smoking cessation tool in the UK is on the rise, in particular from Public Health England. Announcing the plan, the NHS said: “Problem drinkers and smokers who end up in hospital will be helped by dedicated new services,” as part of the initiative which promotes “prevention measures.” 14 | VM21