No Smoking Day: Free electronic cigarette starter kits on offer from Hertfordshire County Council to help you quit

No Smoking Day is on March 9

By Laura Hutchinson
Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 1:10 am

This No Smoking Day Hertfordshire County Council is offering free electronic cigarette starter kits to help people kick the habit.

The council is offering the kits to anyone aged over 18 who has previously tried and failed to quit smoking, are ready to sign up for support to try again.

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen an influx of people requesting stop smoking support from the council, with over 4,300 getting help since April 2020 and over half of them quitting for good.

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Luke French

Now it's offering an extra helping hand for No Smoking Day today (March 9).

Luke French, 38,, came forward for support from the council's Health Improvement Service in 2020, after more than 20 years as a smoker.

“My mum died in December 2019 from COPD,” he explained, “and after that the kids were really scared about my smoking, saying ‘daddy, you’re going to die like nanny.’

“Then Covid-19 happened, and that’s also a respiratory disease, so I phoned the doctor and she referred me for support.”

With help, Luke managed to reduce his smoking, however he was still struggling to set a ‘stop day’ so his stop smoking adviser suggested he try e-cigarettes.

“With the vape I found it really easy,” he said. “I haven’t craved for a cigarette since and am reducing the strength of the nicotine gradually. I wish I had used it years ago.”

Within two days of stopping smoking, Luke felt better, with clearer lungs and more energy.

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“I feel more positive, and my kids are happier too, they no longer worry about me dying from smoking,” he said.

“To all those who are thinking about stopping smoking or are struggling to quit, I’d say get a vape straight away.”

Over 100,000 adults in Hertfordshire smoke and it remains the largest cause of chronic disease in Hertfordshire, killing over 1,400 people in the county every year.

Hertfordshire’s Executive Member for Public Health and Community Safety, Morris Bright MBE, said: “We want to empower Hertfordshire residents to live healthy lifestyles and give them the opportunity to live life well.

“E-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to health than tobacco and have the potential to help smokers quit smoking. By adding the starter kits to the other quit methods available through our Stop Smoking Service, we will be giving those residents wanting to quit smoking the best support possible.

“With our support to stop smoking, you’re up to three times more likely to succeed. We would say to anyone thinking of quitting this No Smoking Day ‘don’t give up on giving up’ - every time you try you are a step closer to success.”

Hertfordshire residents who would like support to quit smoking can contact Hertfordshire Health Improvement Service for more information. Call 0800 389 3 998 or 01442 453 071, text SMOKEFREE to 80818 or email [email protected]

You can also find out more about stop smoking services in Hertfordshire online, and more information on using e-cigarettes to stop smoking on the NHS website.