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The Fresh programme was set up in the North East in 2005 to combat the worst smoking-related illness and death rates in the UK. The North East which comprises of cities such as Newcastle upon Tyne, Durham, and Middlesbrough amongst others, has since then witnessed the sharpest drop in smoking in the country. With approximately 165,000 fewer smokers the region is now boasting the lowest youth and pregnant women smoking rates in the country.

A major barrier to some smokers making the switch to e-cigs is the initial start-up costs. However, it’s estimated that by making the switch to one of the more effective e-cigs, smokers can spend just 10% of what they used to on tobacco. Fresh

An article on the organization’s website is pointing out that ideally smokers would just quit completely, however should this feel unattainable, they are encouraged to at least make the switch to electronic cigarettes. Fresh quoted the renowned data released by Public Health England, (PHE), earlier this year, which had found that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking, and in addition to better health the organization mentioned how this switch will also have a significant impact on one’s pockets.

“A major barrier to some smokers making the switch to e-cigs is the initial start-up costs. However, it’s estimated that by making the switch to one of the more effective e-cigs, smokers can spend just 10% of what they used to on tobacco”, said the article.

Money saved, the figures

The Fresh program has calculated that a person who smokes an average of 15 cigarettes a day and either quits or switches to vaping will be able to save for the following :

  • £47 a week – which could pay for a Star Wars Remote Control BB-8 toy and a DVD.
  • £205 a month – the cost of a PlayStation4 games console.
  • £616 over three months – the equivalent of travel and a one-night stay for a family of four to London with a visit to the Harry Potter studio, plus an evening meal out.
  • £1,233 in six months – a four-night holiday for a family of four to Disneyland Paris next Christmas.
  • £2,467 in one year – which would cover the cost of a family day trip (2 adults and 2 children) to meet Santa Claus in Lapland plus a husky and reindeer ride for Christmas 2017.

Every pack can cause cancer

“Most smokers would like to be able to quit and we’re urging everyone to give it another go for New Year. Every pack of tobacco cigarettes can lead to a mutation which can cause cancer, so every pack of cigarettes you don’t smoke is doing you good”, said Director of Fresh Ailsa Rutter.

Most smokers would like to be able to quit and we’re urging everyone to give it another go for New Year. Every pack of tobacco cigarettes can lead to a mutation which can cause cancer, so every pack of cigarettes you don’t smoke is doing you good. Ailsa Rutter, Director of Fresh

The article points out that the most proven effective method to quit smoking continues to be using the support from free local Stop Smoking Services whilst using licensed NRTs, (Nicotine Replacement Therapies), however all stop smoking services will support people who are using their own e-cigarettes as cessation aides.

Help is available

Cllr Jane Streather, Newcastle City Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Housing, said “There is a variety of support across Newcastle offering varied ways for you to quit, our Stop Smoking Service is always on hand to help you find the most suitable option and support you on your quitting journey.”

Anyone in the region who wishes to enquire about obtaining support to stop smoking may contact Live Well Gateshead on 0800 014 9092, Newcastle Stop Smoking Service on 0191 269 1103, or 07809 105 837, or email: stop.smoking@lifeline.org.uk.