The Ladywell Unit at Lewisham Hospital will be providing smoking patients with Hexa starting kits from vaping retailer VPZ. One hundred £20 kits are available for distribution, after which the project will be reviewed, but “early success” indicates it will continue.
Professor of European Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Martin McKee, criticized the move. “This is an extraordinary time for the NHS to engage in a project like this, in light of what we are seeing in the United States, and the risks of vaping.”
However, Nurse Consultant, Health Promotion & Wellbeing at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Mary Yates, said that this measure will improve lives. “Smoking traps vulnerable people in poverty because it is so expensive.This collaboration with VPZ has the potential to transform the lives of our patients, taking them off cigarettes, giving them more money and transforming their health.”
“We are taking a very holistic approach where smoking is tackled along with mental health issues with the ultimate objective of improving our patients’ overall well-being,” added Yates.
Two UK general hospitals selling e-cigs on their premises
Meanwhile last Summer, two UK general hospitals were the first to open outlets which sell e-cigarettes on their premises. City Hospital in Birmingham and Sandwell General Hospital in West Bromwich, started selling vaping products as part of the current anti-smoking drive and complete smoking ban on sites, run by the NHS Trust.
The smoking ban in these hospitals is being policed by CCTV and enforcement officers who can issue £50 fines. The trust’s medical director, David Carruthers, said that smoking could no longer be tolerated “on our sites, even in shelters or cars”, ”Switching completely from smoking to vaping conveys substantial health benefits, with the aim of stopping both smoking and vaping in the long-term.”
Read Further: The Telegraph